family anecdotes Random thoughts


Miss 7 has always been interested in bugs. Perhaps its something all kids like? Certainly Miss 4 seems to be developing the same curiosity. So when I arrived home last Wednesday, and went to open the front gate, I noticed a very fat caterpillar crawling along its top. Thinking that the girls would be interested in seeing it up close, I put it into Miss 7’s “bug catcher” ready for her arrival home from school.

She was ecstatic. She named it ‘Crawly’ and insisted that it watch her play on the PS2. The bug-catcher, with Crawly inside, then spent the night on the desk in her bedroom – but in the morning we discovered that it had become wedged between two of the plastic ‘leaves’. I extricated it, moving it into a clear plastic container so that Miss 7 could take it to school for show and tell. I explained that because it had been squashed – and for goodness knows how long! – it might not survive to cocoon / butterfly stage. Miss 7, of course, took that to mean that ‘when it became a butterfly, she’d be able to keep it, as a pet, so that she could look after it, because it won’t be able to fly properly’. Ha!

By that night, it still hadn’t eaten anything. It also showed an inclination for crawling to a high point and resting vertically, head down. I suspected that it wanted to form a cocoon and said as much to Miss 7, who agreed that we move it into a container where it could do so.

It started to form a cocoon by Saturday morning, and by Sunday morning, the cocoon was starting to turn a golden colour. Now, Tuesday morning, the cocoon appears to be completely formed, and is completely golden. And I wonder just how long it will take before the butterfly *does* emerge. If it does. Miss 7 is fascinated. I must admit, I’m intrigued too. I’ve never witnessed the process from caterpillar to butterfly before. When I was a kid, I remember taking a cocoon we’d found, into the house to watch the butterfly emerge, but I’d never seen the caterpillar form its own cocoon in the first place.

Will keep you updated, dear readers!