Last year Boy Blue was given a bug bungalow and a caterpillar for his birthday. He named the little guy Catipillie and we enjoyed watching the little guy go through his phases. We read Eric Carle’s “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” every day and we released him at the park near our home so Catipillie could always find his way back.
This year Boy Blue was given a couple of dollars from my grandparents. Armed with his Kidspace membership from my inlaws we marched into the gift shop where Boy Blue immediately adopted a new caterpillar. This little guy was also named Catipillie, and, according to the boys, is the direct decent of last year’s. This guy, however, had a distinctly different personality.
The timeline of his life with us is as follows:
Tuesday 3/29: adoption day! He was very excited and loved to show off all his skills (namely climbing, crawling, and eating)
Wednesday and Thursday, 3/30 and 3/31: He was very restful today.
Friday 4/1: He doubled in size and was very active today, becoming a big fat caterpillar.
Saturday 4/2: He ate like crazy.
Sunday 4/3: In the morning he hung himself in the classic J-shape from the lid. By late afternoon he formed his chrysalis.
Tuesday 4/12: He emerged from his chrysalis. He was very active and curious.
He definitely had a different personality from last year’s butterfly. Yes, my butterflies had different personalities. This one was very entertaining, and he explored every inch of his small home. He liked to show off his beautiful wings, flapping them at our guests until they looked. He would stay perfectly still and stare us down when we were observing him. (When asked about his colouring the boys informed me that he was “camoflaged.”) Except for the final food change he would stay perfectly still, patiently waiting for me to finish what I was doing. On the last day, however, he flapped all around, making me nervous that I would inadvertantly get my hand oils on his wings and disable him. (I didn’t.) When sugarwater was mistakenly dumped on him I watched him anxiously until I knew that his wings were not stuck together and he was fine. I found both boys captivated by him, staring at him for long minutes at a time, and I found I was doing the same.
And I talked to him. He was my friend.
On Friday afternoon we took him to the park to release him. We said our goodbyes and coached him out of the only home he had known as a butterfly. He soared to the top of the trees. We were proud of him. I miss him a little, and already can’t wait to adopt a new caterpillar next year. Let’s see if he’ll have the same name as the last two.
(In the above photo Catipillie is drinking from the tube we made, that’s his black tongue in there. So cool, right?!?)