Essay — Planning Ahead

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Image of small lizard eating a caterpillar
Image source: HL Carpenter

The wasp walked along the pavers, wings folded, and probed each gap between siding and stone with quivering antenna. Then—discovery! A meal in the form of a caterpillar as large as the wasp itself.

The wasp grabbed the prize, then raced along the previous path, circling here, sprinting straightaway there. The caterpillar was long and difficult to hold. The wasp dropped and retrieved it several times, yet persisted in the frantic, apparently aimless ramble.

The lizard zipped down from the fence, dashed across the pavers, and wrenched the caterpillar from the wasp. After returning to the fence, the lizard settled in for dinner.

The wasp spent a few minutes searching for the lost bounty before flying away.

When you find what you’re looking for, will you know what to do with it?



HL Carpenter is a mother/daughter duo who write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at


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