Wednesday, July 29, 2015
float like a butterfly, sting like a caterpillar
When bloggers have little to say, they often troop out inside procedural statistics that are meaningful only to those of us who have the write-and-post obsession.
Today, I do have something to say. But I am still going to trot a few numbers by you.
The year was 2008. The month was September. It would be another seven months before my sainted brother; the decrepit, but loyal, Professor Jiggs, and I would board the Escape for our trip to Mexico.
A fellow blogger, who resides in Morelia, had just sent me an email recounting an encounter with a stinging caterpillar in her garden. As a fan of National Geographic, I, of course, knew that many insects have self-defense mechanisms that rival those of an infantry brigade. But I never thought of them living in my new home.
Thus was born a little essay (sting like a butterfly, float like a caterpillar) that has continually topped the most-accessed list on my blog . The title has always been a bit misleading. After all, it was the caterpillar that did the stinging. Seven years later, I may have set the title straight. (And I will still get Google hits with my side car attached to Muhammed Ali's famous phrase.)
But why am I disinterring a tale of a caterpillar who long ago pupated? Because I found this in my garden as I was cleaning up the debris from our recent wind storm.
I have no idea what this guy's destiny is. I tried researching on my favorite butterfly and moth identification site, but I could not find anything similar.
What I do know is that I had no desire to touch him. Considering my 8-year old love of things crawly, I am surprised I didn't pick him up and put him in a jar.
Instead, I let him make his way up the planter into the greenery. And, yes, I know, he is now going to lunch on the leaves of my vine. At least, that is a good possibility. But there are plenty of leaves. In the process, I may get a butterfly.
Or I may get stung. I regularly dig through the vine to gather dead leaves before they fall to the courtyard floor. Without gloves.
One of these days, I will undoubtedly fail to recognize his artful camouflage. And, just like the stinging ants that surprised my fingers in the same planter, I will wonder why I did not take matters in hand when I had an opportunity.
I know why. There is a bit of Harold Hill in me. I always have hope there is a butterfly.