Thursday, October 8, 2009
A couple of weeks ago, and maybe still, there were hundreds of caterpillars. Everywhere we looked, tiny black fuzzy thick worms, pushing themselves along on a mission to nowhere, really. They piled by the front doors, maybe trying to find some shade or escape the wind? They climbed the red and grey brick on the patio, sometimes getting trapped and tangled in a spider's web. And then one day, instead of seeing a caterpillar when we went outside to play, we saw a chrysalis. A teeny tiny little black and white cocoon, clutching onto the leg of a chair.
A few days later, maybe even weeks since I'm no good with time these days, appeared the first butterfly of the season. Standing on our house, right next to the open garage door, was a black and orange winged friend. "Nobody scare him!" I whispered violently, right before running into the house to grab the camera.
"Eleanore come here, see the butterfly?", I asked her. "Don't touch him, just look".
She didn't seem too interested. Who cares about the butterfly, when we're about to go to the store, where Mommy and Daddy will possibly buy me something brand new. Maybe after I have my brand new toy or maybe even candy, then I'll say hello to the butterfly. But for now, no thank you, I have more important matters to attend to- I'm sure she was thinking. But this wouldn't be the last butterfly we'd get to visit with. There would be more. Lots more...
The next day, after opening up the garage to get out the stroller for our mid morning walk (I say that like we take a walk every day- We really don't.), there was another friend. A new friend. And this time, instead of having her mind set on colorful tasty bags full of candy that we never got her, Miss Eleanore's face lit up with wonder. This butterfly friend, was special.
Eleanore walked right up to him, and she said "Hello, little butterfly. You can be my friend". She went on and on about how we were going to walk to the park, and he could come with us if he wanted to of course. She asked what he was doing, and as if I were the voice of the butterfly, I explained back to her in a deeper tone (even though I imagine butterflies have a high pitched voice), that he was just cold and needing to snuggle up to the pink fleece bathrobe in the garage sale pile, to keep warm.
It all made sense.
The butterfly stayed behind to take a nap while we went and slid down the slides and climbed up the climbs. We didn't stay at the park for very long, because of the wet swings and puddled playground, instead we decided that maybe going home and playing in the garage (where Elie is spoiled and has a pretty pink and white plastic playhouse set up) was a better idea. Soon after setting out all of our toys and just as the sun started to peek through the clouds, our butterfly friend came out to play.
As he fluttered around near the ground, I noticed that something wasn't quite right. Still a little frozen, maybe? The temperatures couldn't have been much above 70. An injured wing, I wondered? Who knows if Eleanore had tried to play ring around the rosies with him, poor thing.
"Lets leave our friend alone", I said. Of course, I said that after I had taken advantage of his slow thaw, and let him crawl all over my finger (he tickled just the way I had always imagined holding a butterfly would). I had set him back down onto the cold hard ground, in the exact same spot that I had originally picked him up from, and he went back into his clumsy attempts at flying and floating. A stumble here, a trip there... things weren't looking so good for Mr. Butterfly.
Later that afternoon, after Christopher had come home and we had all returned outside to stretch our legs and give the couch a rest, our butterfly friend had cozied up in the worst possible of places on the ground, right in front of the open garage. There were feet all around him, this way, that way- and just as I was on my way to scoop him up and be the hero-
Eleanore stomped on him and killed him.
We gave our butterfly friend a proper burial in the side garden, which is nothing more than bark dust and rooted tumbleweed, followed by as many nice things that we could say about him, before going inside for the night. The good news is, Eleanore doesn't quite understand death yet. The bad news is- well, she stomped on our butterfly friend and killed him.