Momma and Andy stoop to see the caterpillars on the milkweed plant. They turn a leaf over to watch one caterpillar munch away at the poisonous leaves.
Andy sees the caterpillar is yellow, black and white. It looks like a rubber tube with legs. Tiny legs. Lots of legs.
Andy asks “Can we take a caterpillar home and put it in a jar?” He holds up a jar he brought from the kitchen.
“Yes. These caterpillars need lots and lots of milkweed leaves to eat.” So Andy picked a handful of leaves and stuffed them in the jar lightly. He gently picked up the squirmy caterpillar and lowered it into its new home.
“You’ll need to find a stick. The caterpillar will use this to spin its’ chrysalis. ” momma whispered. Andy found a sturdy stick to place in the jar. The caterpillar’s house was finished. “Don’t forget a lid with air holes. We do not want Mr. Caterpillar climbing out into the bowl of apples on the table.” Momma and Andy laughed.
At dinner each night, Andy added more leaves until finally the caterpillar was full. Daddy, momma and Andy watch Mr. Caterpillar climb up the stick and it began to spin thread from the bottom of its’ body.
In the morning, when Andy came down for breakfast, a lime green chrysalis was waiting for Andy. It was lined with golden flecks and it shone brightly in the sun.
Days past. The lime green chrysalis had turned black. Andy looked closer and could see the chrysalis was now transparent and the wings of the butterfly could be seen. It was a monarch!
The butterfly stretched. And stretched and stretched and stretched.
Kaboom! Mr. Butterfly was free. It flapped its’ wings to dry them. Andy took the jar outside to let Mr. Butterfly enjoy the sunshine.
Momma and daddy joined Andy outside. “How long will the butterfly stay?” Andy asked. “Not long.” daddy replied. Mr. Butterfly flapped its wings and took off. It sailed away in the summer air to find a friend.