Monday, July 31, 2006

Connie andb Fylo Caterpillar

Our cousins Colleen and Kevin gave Johnny and Richie two black swallowtail caterpillars. They're black with yellow polkadots and green striped. They were living on my aunt Maureen's fennel plant.

Their names are Connie and Fylo. (Well that's today's name Richie gave him. He renames him everyday and the names are so complicated that we can't remember them. I think one was Mongie Longie Lako Mako Si Fi Ni.)

Our cousins researched them and found a Web site that tells about raising caterpillars. They need a stick to go into their cocoon. But Connie and Fylo aren't ready for that yet. They just want to eat fennel. They polished off the fennel Colleen gave us. I tried to give them some mint, sage and store bought fennel, which they ignored.

We happened to be on the playground across the street. Some kids were playing there because their moms were working in the church garden next to it.

Johnny carried Connie over on a stick and announced loudly to himself, "My pet caterpillar needs some fresh air!"

"Wow you have a pet caterpillar?" the kids said.

"What's his name?"

"Can I hold him?"

Naturally, Johnny was in heaven.

I went over to talk to the women in the garden.

Just then, a woman said, "Does anyone need some fennel? We have all this fennel!"

My caterpillars would love some, I said.

So now their critter keeper is full of this licorice-smelling fennel instead of those sorry-looking storebought seeds. What a life!

I say my caterpillars because I feel like they're my pets, too. I keep them by my desk and watch them work. Their job is to eat. I like that about an animal.

Like a lot of people, caterpillars and butterflies fascinate me. I read that they're the only creature that completely changes it's DNA in the course of its life. Some cultures think they're a spirit caught between this world and the next. Other people think that if you're drawn to caterpillars, you need to be reminded that change need not be painful.

Not only is the end result beautiful--can you imagine falling into a deep sleep and being able to fly when you woke up. But the changing itself can be beautiful.

Last summer, I swear this butterfly was following me. This will illustrate how crazy I am because butterflies are everywhere in the summer. It's like saying crabgrass is following you when in fact you just don't like to use weedkiller.

But seriously, I would be driving in 40 miles per hour and the butterfly would cut in front of me. Or I'd look out the window for a second and the butterfly would be right there. I figured it was someone in heaven trying to tell me something. But I never figured out what they were trying to say.

Oh, what, like you never thought one of your dead relatives had taken the form of a butterfly and was following you.

Supposedly, depending on whether you're more interested in caterpillars or butterflies, says where you are in your life. You're either getting ready for a change or you just got some newfound freedom or something. Of course, this is all according to Web sites that sell crystals.

When I was little, I found a caterpillar in Colorado on a family vacation. On these vacations, my mom's 9 siblings and their families, and my Nana and Papa and the family who owned the cabin would be there.

So I told everybody, "He's trying to tell us something. He's one day old today. That's why he's making a straight line with his body."

And that night my mom and aunts threw him a birthday party--with cake and everything. I thought they were putting me on--that the party was really for someone else and they just said it was for him.

But at the party, they only sang to him. And my Papa posed for a picture holding up his pointer finger with the caterpillar on it to show he was one year old. The party was just for him.

See, everyone loves caterpillars because everyone is always on the verge of some change.

Well, I'll keep you updated on their status.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't tell papa Heos. He hates catepillars. If you want to scare that big man, visit with a bad of your catepillar friends. He'll be running...

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

You were crying that your catepillar was all alone and lost his mommy that summer in colorado, and it was his birthday. I remember the party - cake, ice cream , gifts of blades of grass and sticks and lots of loud music that we all danced to. You were fine after that. I can't recall his name though!

3:02 AM  

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