In the dark crevices of the shallow pond, an unlikely beast lies in wait. Cleaning it’s fangs and blades, waiting to pounce. Devouring it’s unlucky meal and waiting for that faithful day when it’s murderous husk would be shed in exchange for wings the color of air.
In the bushes of plants green with glorious youth, a small tank munches away filling the leaves with holes, leaving only twigs untouched. This voracious ballet goes on and on for minutes unto hours unto days. The little bugger grows and fattens, it’s multiple suction-cupped legs keeping it on the plant. It has but fate to protect it from storm or claw. It waits until the time it sheds the flesh for a hard shell and then that for wings, soon after.
For a brief moment they are vulnerable, for a brief moment they are something else. But they bide their time and grow and grow and grow. Preparing all the needed energy to drive the processes that would bring them to the desired form.
In essence that is what UP is, or what is asked of those who take the quest. Given such a short time, sprout wings and fly. To not be content to be dragonfly nymphs and caterpillars but to use all that stored energy, all that potential, and then metamorphose.