© copyright 2008 

     Kosmos pondered the dilemma for only a moment before his face flared to life. He clapped his hands together. “I have an idea. There is someone who might be able to help us.” He then stooped down and whistled. “Tommy! Come here … Come here boy.” 
     Thereupon a large leather-bound tome ran out from a grove of dogwood trees and jumped into Kosmos’ arms like an eager puppy. “Tommy—Lay,” said Kosmos sternly. The book immediately lied down onto its spine and opened up. Instead of a tummy rub, Kosmos thumbed through the dog-eared volume until landing on just the right page. “This is exactly what we need.” 
     The exasperated caterpillar heaved a sigh, “What can a moldy old book do to help?”
     “Plenty.” The old man winked. “But it’s not the book, it’s what’s in the book.” Kosmos read a name out loud and gave Tommy a pat on the binding. 
     Suddenly, rising from the page like a plume of smoke from the hearth, came a towering gray clad knight suited head to toe in unblazoned armor. Or perhaps it would be more precise to say, there stood a towering gray suit of armor … there was no knight, in sight.
     Caterpillar crawled over to examine the armor to be sure it was real. Next, he continued to work his way up, over the belted scabbard, across a massive chest, to its helmet. There, he peeked through the visor just to be certain. “Hollow as a brass bell. He’s nothing but a great big pile of metal.”
     “No … He’s Paladin,” said Kosmos. “A storied gallant and protector of the realm, drawn from my book of lore. This ‘brassy’ fellow is a questing knight without peer, smiting evildoers, rescuing fair damsels, slaying loathsome dragons ...”
     “Well and good,” the caterpillar interrupted, “but can your Pal’ fetch our baby back from the jaws of that snake?”
     “Most certainly,” Kosmos nodded to the grey knight. “Fetch our Chrysalis from that snake—or whatever other monster crosses your path.” That said, Paladin plucked the caterpillar off and set him back on the ground, gently, like a delicate flower—then vanished in a puff of smoke.