Sunday, 17 May 2015

The Very Naughty Caterpillar

"HungryCaterpillar". Via Wikipedia.
I love the story of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The tale has delighted toddlers, parents and teachers alike for more than 45 years, with its colourful hole-punched pictures of foods eaten by the caterpillar as it bulks up for its transformation into a beautiful butterfly. My nephews have a giant hungry caterpillar soft toy that they cuddle while we read the book together. There is also a delightful Christmas version that I bought last year, with northern hemisphere Christmas variations on the foods the caterpillar ate each day.

Here is a video of the book read by its author, Eric Carle.

I'm not too enamored with hungry caterpillars in real life, though.

Two months ago, I planted a living herb wall. It started out really well and I enjoyed picking handfuls of fresh herbs to chop and add to my cooking. The violets bloomed into a rainbow of beautiful colours and the leaves were healthy, green and lush. Until one day, when holes started appearing in the leaves before being eaten away altogether. In desperation, I consulted various gardening sites who all seemed to agree that the best non-toxic solution was to find the elusive bug in the plants and remove it. I searched and searched but couldn't find anything, even among eighteen little pockets. Eventually, I pulled a snail out out from behind a chives plant! Goodbye, villain. *cue evil laugh*

The plants started growing back and I enjoyed watching them grow again. Then one day I noticed that my living herb wall was once again under attack! Each day I watched yet another healthy plant seemingly disappear before my eyes but with no culprit in sight. Until today. Victory is mine!

Here is my abridged version of the Very Hungry Caterpillar, told as a photo story without a happy ending.

The Very Naughty Caterpillar

On Monday he ate through one basil plant.
On Tuesday he ate through two oregano plants.
On Wednesday he ate through three violet plants.
On Thursday he ate through four thyme stalks.
On Friday he ate through five coriander plants.
On Saturday he tried to eat through six parsley stalks.
On Sunday he was found climbing from one pocket to another, got squashed between a paper towel and ended up unceremoniously dumped in a rubbish bin.
There will be no life as a beautiful butterfly for this very naughty caterpillar.

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