We stepped away from it and since it was in a location that August frequented and I never wanted to see that caterpillar again, I killed it with a rock. I felt terrible. I just kept this poor Puss Caterpillar from achieving it's lifetime goal because our paths just didn't cross well. It was a sad moment but also a very scary one for me. This tiny creature managed to make my heart skip a beat and my stomach tighten up.
I wondered if children instinctively knew what to touch or not touch. I wondered what I would had done had I not read that article that came my way (via Facebook, of all places). Would I have stopped and just looked or actually try to touch and handle it? Had I not been there would August have become curious and brave and tried to touch it? It was a pale brown, velvety, almost cute looking thing but at the same time, something about it did register as creepy. The incident was too scary to continue to dwell on. I began my lecture to both of us about the dangers of touching bugs we know nothing about it. I then went home and studied up on toxic plants and insects.
The caterpillar August found on the ground today was dead, the ants were moving it. It was actually a caterpillar that would have become a butterfly and I mourned it. We had just spent time among the Monarchs yesterday at the park. It was a magical experience and I did feel quite blessed by it. I had not been among so many butterflies since I was a little girl in Del Rio. They really made me feel like everything I wanted to work out, would.
Who doesn't want to become a butterfly? All the suffering and sacrifices, the tough lessons... We all want the ugly to lead to something more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. Reward and respite. Freedom. To fly and not crawl anymore. Hopefully all hard work will result in a pleasant and comfortable payoff and not get squished along the way, never becoming a butterfly or a moth. When I think of it that way, it's really tragic to see dead caterpillars.