As a child I would wander in the open fields behind our house. One day while exploring milk weeds and butterflies, My mom told me milkweed was important for butterflies. I encountered an ugly looking creature. It was black and orange with horns and lots of legs. It was eating the milkweed leaves. I was frightened. I took a stick and poked the creature. Its outer skin ruptured and revealed its internal slime mass. Now I was even more scared. I dropped the stick and ran back to the house to find my mom. My mom calmed me down and explained to me about the creature I encountered. She even encouraged and helped me collect one of the caterpillars and set up a home for it in an old aquarium in my bed room. There I worked to make sure it had fresh milk weed and water. One day the caterpillar hung itself from the milkweed plant and started a process. It started building a container around itself. I could see mysterious changes going on in the translucent container. One day it split and a creature not-yet-a-butterfly was hanging on to it. Its wings developed and my mom helped me let the Monarch go.
Stories from Our Youth