Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Caterpillar Shepherd

It was her final act. Taken for dead, she had been pinned to a Styrofoam board. Her wings were locked in place with more pins and wax paper. It seemed pointless, but she did it anyway. Andrew my friend showed me his recent trophy. A beautiful Polyphemus, silk moth. As he recounted how he obtained this prize, I noticed a cluster of eggs at the tip of the moth's abdomen. I had tried several times to rear butterflies and moths, but each time had failed. Two weeks later, seven teen caterpillars hatched out of their eggs. I carefully put a maple leaf amidst the minuscule larva and went on my way. Changing the leaves took a long time (1 hour), and I did it about every three to four days. The caterpillars grew so fast! But not quite fast enough. I was soon to leave the enchanting land of Rosario, where Shamu swims in the sea, gulls fly in the air, and students walk on the land. I had one problem with my eminent departure. How was I going to get the caterpillars onto the plane? Much thought and consideration was done upon this perplexing question. The potential for loss of the caterpillars at the hands of security at the airport was alarming. I doubted that they would believe a young fellow's testimony about the harmless effect the Silk worm caterpillars would have on the environment where I was heading. I don't know exactly how long it took me to realize this solution, but it came shortly before departing to the Seattle Airport. I made a caterpillar sandwich. The supplies included: four slices of bread, three zip lock bags, lettuce (maple leaves), and of course caterpillars. Well it worked beautifully. I was really excited and made sure the caterpillars had plenty of air. I did this by poking holes in the zip lock bags. Once in Nashville, I made no delay of extolling the wisdom with which the caterpillars had been so masterfully smuggled into the Eastern region of the United States. But, like the caterpillars, I grew hungry as I waited for my brother to come and pick me up at the air port.

It was my idea. I wanted Indian food. So we went to a fantastic Indian Restaurant. I noticed that it was considerably hotter in Nashville then in Seattle. The food was really good, even though we got ripped off. Full of rice and curry, I half walked and half waddled to my car. It was one of those hot humid days, I sat down in the car and started to sweat. Then it hit me, like an insect pin through my neck, a hot baby story that I had seen in the Atlanta Airport. A thoughtless mother had left her baby in the car and a teenage girl noticed the baby. It had run right after a story about a woman who had strangled a rabid raccoon to protect her sons. "What recklessness," I thought as I waited for my plane. Still sweating and now heart beating, I looked back and found to my dismay the caterpillars all dead. Many had eviscerated their guts and were green and brown in color. Futilely i tried to cool them, but to no avail. They were all long gone. I lamented the moment for many moments. When I arrived at my dwelling place in the land of Cleve (Cleveland). I placed them on a fence post. "Maybe a Bluebird will enjoy these cooked caterpillars," I hoped. Thus ended an another attempt to be a caterpillar shepherd.