A couple of weeks ago Max went to a birthday party where each child was given a caterpillar in a cup with food to last it until it created a cocoon. Max was pretty excited about his, and named it “Max Jr.” on the assumption that it was a boy.

Before we read the instructions that said it shouldn’t be held, Max let it crawl around on his hand, and we built it a new home in the bottom of a seltzer bottle with leaves and branches.

And there Max Jr. lived. Every now and then he’d climb to the top of his home, which we’d covered with a piece of aluminum foil, then crawl back down again.

The most exciting thing he did was poop – but we all know how exciting that can be to a 9 year old.

Then Max Jr. formed his chrysalis, and went to sleep. Who knew that the dream resting place of a Viceroy butterfly would be a section of hole-punched aluminum foil.

Any kind of change is exciting – this was especially cool to see.

When I was a girl I found a couple of caterpillars and put them in a box with leaves, which I promptly put under my bed and forgot. Next Fall, when I opened the box, I found a couple of beautiful purple (dead) butterflies.

But Max Jr. was luckier by far!

Last night I actually dreamed that Max Jr. emerged from his sleeping bag – and as soon as Max Sr. was up he announced the news –


Too exciting!

So we took Max Jr. outside on the back porch so he could dry his wings and spread them out. He hung out with us for a while, then he flew up on the windowsill, then he flew away.

We’re hoping he’s already found a date. And now I don’t have the heart to tell Max where silk comes from.

Here’s a photo that Max took of Max Jr. on my hand – I think it’s the best in the lot!

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