The Ant and the Caterpillow is a book by Ackerly-Green Publishing.
The Ant and the Caterpillow is the story of two best friends, an ant and a caterpillow. The pair became close as babies, when a rainstorm threatened to sweep them away. After that, they always stuck together, never learning how to navigate the world alone. The ant would sit atop the caterpillow and warn it of danger, though the caterpillow secretly wished for adventure.
After gathering food for the winter one day, the ant made the caterpillow go back home early to avoid being eaten by corvids. However, the caterpillow secretly wished to see the corvids take flight. That night, the caterpillow dreamed of flying to strange lands, longing for adventure. When he awoke, he told the ant of his dreams and that he'd like for them to adventure together, but the ant would have to become brave.
The ant, scared of the devastation he had seen in the flood, said nothing and remained in their home as the caterpillow left to go on an adventure. With no one to guide him, the Caterpillow got lost, eventually deciding to climb a tree. Meanwhile, the ant remained in their home, sad from being apart for the first time and scared for his friend.
When the caterpillow did not return that night, the ant went out to search for him. Eventually, after hours of searching, the ant found the caterpillow in a high branch. He had incased himself in a caterpillowcase, and though the ant called out to him, he couldn't hear. However, the ant remained with him for hours, days, and weeks, until a large corvid one day spotted the caterpillow. The Corvid said that she was looking for bite to eat, but the ant told her that there was nothing in the glade besides the twigs and leaves he'd had gathered. The Corvid said that she didn't eat leaves, she ate the things that ate leaves, and asked if there was anything inside the pillowcase worth eating. The ant told her not to, saying the Corvid should eat him instead, but the Corvid said that fire ants were vile and stung and pinched the whole way down. The ant, not having been raised with other ants, didn't realize he was a fire ant.
The caterpillow began to wiggle in his case, finally waking up. Realizing this, the Corvid swept the ant aside and grabbed the pillowcase in her claw. She flew off with the caterpillow, and the ant managed to sneak on. The caterpillow told his friend to free the pillowcase from the Corvid's claw. When the ant asked if it would lead to their deaths in the fall, the caterpillow told the ant not to worry. The ant climbed on the back of the Corvid and demanded she let the caterpillow free, threatening to pinch her between the eyes if she didn't. The Corvid refused, and the the ant pinched her, and they all tumbled to the ground. The any regretted nothing after seeing the amazing view, only feeling sad that he had prevented himself and his friend from living a courageous life.
Just as they were about to smash into the ground, the caterpillow, now with gorgeous new wings, caught the ant. The ant told his friend that he looked wonderfully different, and the caterpillow said the same to his brave friend.
In 'The Elusive Mr. Wallace', Deirdre Green described The Ant and the Caterpillow to Orvin Wallace, who was shocked that she had even remembered the book. "I told him about the dream and that I’m pretty sure it’s a memory. The long hallway. I told him about a story dad always read to me. The tale of the ant and the caterpillar. (I remember I used to think he was saying “caterpillow.”) This seemed to snap him out of his catatonic state. He couldn’t believe I remembered that book. It must seem like that when you’re in your eighties, but my childhood wasn’t THAT long ago and my memory works fine Mr W!"
During Phase Four, The Ant and the Caterpillow was one of the books used by Deirdre in her spell "The Six Books." In "The Shadow", Deirdre described how she had used transfiguration magiq to 'caterpillow' herself, gaining wings.
Through the Magimystical Assessments, bits of the story began to be unlocked. For each key that was unlocked, two pages of the story were made available by clicking on the Book of Briars on its website. The story was completed with the foreword, provided to Mountaineers by Deirdre. Together with the foreword, the Mountaineers were able to use the roman numeral combinations to decrypt a message that led to the final message of the Book.