Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Butterfly Garden - Larval Stage

So just when you finish complaining about having a yard full of caterpillars, what's the most logical thing to do? Order some caterpillars, of course. To keep in your house. In a cup.

Yeah, I know this doesn't make any sense. Let me explain.

This is what happened. Last year, I bought a Butterfly Garden as a birthday present for the daughter of a friend. At the time, I didn't really know this mom that well. After a few more conversations with her, I realized that she probably wouldn't appreciate having live, squirmy creatures in her house. So, I picked out a tidier gift for her little girl and stuck the Butterfly Garden in our closet. I figured I could break it out one day if I needed a gift in a pinch. Of course, what really happened is that I completely forgot about it. That is, until Sarah was snooping around and found the box.

As is her way, she was intensely curious about the box, its contents and how it all worked. She bombarded me with question after question. Weakened by her grilling, I broke down, opened the package and agreed to send away for the caterpillars that the kit promised. So, we sat down, filled out the order form and put it in the mailbox immediately.

I thought she would forget about the entire thing. As is my way, I was completely wrong. Everyday she asked if the mailman had brought her butterfly eggs. For a week straight, she tracked the mailman and rifled through our mail.

On Saturday when the little box arrived, she was ecstatic. We broke open the box and pulled out our cup of 5 caterpillars. This led to another assault of questions which forced me to read the entire insert that came with the box. Sarah has had me explain over and over again what is going to happen to the caterpillars. This is her version (imagine lots of hand waving):

Our butterfly eggs got warm and popped. Then caterpillars came out. The caterpillars are gonna make a raccoon at the top of the cup and go to sleep. Then, they will make a tiny hole and BUTTERFLIES will come out!

She's pretty close - except for the raccoon part. Raccoon, cocoon - whatever.

So in a couple of weeks, give or take, we should have Painted Lady butterflies.

In the meantime, I'll be fielding questions, lots of questions and doing my best to prevent one excited little girl from cracking open the cup to hold the caterpillars ("They like it, mama.").

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At 7:35 AM, Blogger QT said...

What a great gift idea! I can just hear the questions. I love that she is so curious about everything - and how patient you are. You'll have to keep us updated on the progress.

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