Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Monarch Release

A couple of weeks ago we took Carter to the State Fair. Just Carter, no evil attention grabbing little brother who would want to do little brother things at the fair. He thought this was very cool. His favorite part of the day was spent at a secret butterfly garden, a kind of oasis in the craziness that is the fair. It is a giant tent filled with all kinds of butterflies. They land on you and the kids can touch them (in some cases a nasty little kid will hurt them - definitely not Carter!!) He loves the butterflies!

After spending nearly a half hour in the butterfly tent which is a very long time for a little boy to spend doing one thing at the fair, my husband was ready to call out a search party because we couldn't possibly still be looking at butterflies. At the end of the visit we eagerly purchased two little monarch caterpillars - he even wanted to buy one for the evil little brother.

The day after we brought them hope, the first caterpillar turned into a crystalid (like a cocoon) and unfortunately the other little guy didn't make it :( After almost two weeks of daily checks with no butterfly to be seen we had all but given up on him emerging. Then after dinner last night I heard an eager yell "mommy, mommy come quick!" Of course I started running through the options of what on earth could be wrong because at the time I was about to step into a hot bath and NOBODY INTERRUPTS MOMMY'S QUIET TIME!!!!! So I knew it had to be something awful, somebody had to be bleeding or something for them to chance my wrath.

I am down the stairs to find the boy with the biggest smile ever holding his little butterfly in its cup! I don't know that he's ever looked happier. Of course I oooo'd and ahhhh'd and excused myself to take my bath.

When I emerged a mere 20 minutes later, I expected to find the delighted boy with his little butterfly but instead I find him uncontrollably crying. After a few minutes a got him to calm down and learned that daddy talked him into releasing his new friend right away. Apparently they both thought that the caterpillar / butterfly that had been living in a little plastic cup for the last two weeks would "hang around" for a while outside after tasting its first taste of freedom. Low and behold the butterfly bolted as soon as they let it go and Carter was devestated because he didn't get to say goodbye. Poor little boy was heartbroken.

We spent the rest of the evening looking up stuff about monarchs and how they have a long way to fly to make it to Mexico by winter.


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