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Pest or pet?

April 29th, 2004 · 2 Comments


This spring, again, it seems we have a bumper crop of tent caterpillars. Abigiail’s glad since she thinks of them as her pets. As documented in this picture, she likes to let them crawl up her arms. When I told her that we needed to go in the van and that she had to put the caterpillar somewhere, she became distressed. My first-born, responsible and sensitive daughter wanted to make sure that wherever she left her pet, it would have plenty of food and water and also space away from any automobile tires. Complicating these requirements was the need for Caterpillar to be placed at some distance away from any cultivated (and costly) plants it could consume…such as our entire yard…

I cannot say I am as fond of these creatures as she is. In our neighborhood, the branches of the alder trees are silver with their tents. I can stomach many things, but the sight of the thick cocoons covered with swarms requires some stamina. I need to go out and cut them off into trash bags (when Abigail isn’t looking). Last year I tried to be diligent in my battles but yet many survived until another year. That spring many of my plants suffered extensive leaf loss due to these hungry pests pets…

…then again, if only I had my daughter’s eyes and affection for these creepy creatures: Love is blind and kind. Sometimes I’m put to shame by the power of my child’s passion.

Tags: family

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Katherine // Apr 29, 2004 at 9:58 am

    Could there be a connection between A’s bumpy spots and her pets crawling on her? I don’t know anything about tent caterpillars.

  • 2 Julie // Apr 29, 2004 at 10:05 am

    A good thought which has gone through my mind once or twice…