4/2/09

Waiting for Wings

Mallory got a butterfly house for Christmas, and a few weeks ago we sent off for some caterpillars to hatch. A little jar arrived about ten days ago, filled with a layer of sticky goo and five tiny, fuzzy larva -- each less than a quarter-inch long.

According to the instructions, the larva would eat and grow for about a week, and then move to the lid of the jar and start to spin their cocoons. For some reason, I was skeptical. Perhaps I was remembering the disappointments of toys past -- the Moon Sand disaster, the Littlest Pet Shop Secret Password Diary debacle, the Crayola Cutter fiasco. We inspected the little larva a few times a day, and watched as the jar grew full of silk and "frass" (caterpillar poop, for those of you not in the know).

And yesterday, it actually happened. When we checked the jar after dinner, we saw that all five caterpillars had attached themselves to the lid and were partially cocooned. In a few days we'll be able to move them to the net house, and a few days after that, we'll have butterflies.

It strikes me that these tiny creatures are far better at knowing how to take care of themselves than many humans are. For all our brains, or maybe because of them, we lack, or have lost, something of efficiency, and elegance. I think Mallory was right after all.

1 comments:

aimee said...

So glad it worked out! After planting our butterfly garden, I am hoping to see some of God's caterpillars also. :)