In this Native American tale, a wise grandmother explains the meaning of death, or the Great Change, to her questioning granddaughter. While going through their daily tasks in the Native way, taking from Mother Earth only what is needed and returning what is not used so as to replenish her, nine-year-old Wanba asks, “Why do fish have to die? Why does anything have to die? Why did Grandpa have to die?” Grandmother explains that just as a caterpillar “dies” only to become a beautiful butterfly, there is no “death” in the Circle of Life— only the Great Change.
This is a story of passing on tradition, culture, and wisdom to the next generation. It is a moving tale for everyone— child and adult— who wonders about what lies beyond this life.