Tag Archives: how to take care of a caterpillar

Meet Cinderella Alexandra

22 Feb

“I think she might be sick,” Aaron said to Hannah, whilst giving me a knowing look  “We’ll see how she goes today, and if she hasn’t moved by the time I get home from work, we’ll have to put her back outside so she can get better.”

And by sick, he meant dead.  She’d been lying in the same spot for almost 24 hours.

“Ok.” Hannah said, head down, her voice reflecting sadness.

“We’ll see how she is today, Mommy.  I bet she’ll move.  She’s just having rest.  It’s nap time.” Hannah told me, believing every word as she said it.

We’d only had her for a day.  We found her the day before under Hannah’s pillow.  Yes, under Hannah’s pillow, a very strange place, if you’re a caterpillar.

“She crawled all the way under my pillow because she loves me!!” Hannah said excitedly.  “She loves me so much!”

I got a plastic takeaway container, poked holes in it, and gave it to Aaron to put the black caterpillar in.

“What are you going to name it?” Aaron asked her.

She thought about it a little bit.  “Cinderella.  No, she’s going to have two names.  Cinderella Alexandra.”

We read up on how to take care of caterpillars, and I bought one of those plastic animal containers with slits all through the roof to be made into her new home (for under $2, I might add!). Hannah and I put dirt on the bottom, some sticks for her to climb, leaves to eat, and a cotton ball full of water to keep everything fresh and hydrated.  Plus a little scrunched up wad of paper to use as a ball so she can “use her nose to kick it around her cage because she wants to play.”

Hannah carried Cinderella around with her for the rest of the day, despite the fact that Cinderella hadn’t moved in hours.

Hannah and her caterpillar helping me cook

Hannah and her caterpillar helping me cook

Aaron and I were going to lightly poke her with a stick to see if she moved after Hannah went to bed, but Hannah came out of her room to get her.  Hannah wanted Cinderella to sleep on the little dresser next to her bed so she wouldn’t be lonely.

The morning didn’t bring any movement.  Cinderella was still in the exact same spot she’d been in since the afternoon before.

“Goodbye Cinderella,” Hannah told the caterpillar as we went out for the morning, “I love you!”

“I missed you so much!!!” Hannah told her when we got home.

She still hadn’t moved.

A few hours later, we were going out again and I checked to see if Cinderella had moved.  Aaron was only a few hours from returning home from work, and the chances of having to put her outside because she was “sick” were becoming very high.

Until I saw this:


At first glance, I nearly dropped the cage because I thought there was a cockroach in there.  Then my brain started functioning and I realised that a cockroach of that size would have no way to actually get inside the cage.  Plus there are no legs.

But hang on, isn’t that Cinderella curled up in a ball right next to the thing that has to be a cocoon? I thought that too, but closer inspection revealed that the ball of fluff is just that, a ball of fluff.  There is not enough mass there to be Cinderella.  Unless she suddenly shrank to less than half of her original size.  She somehow just shed all of her hair and is now in the cocoon.  That’s what we’re hoping at least.  Otherwise, we’re going to have a very disappointed little girl.

UPDATE: Click here to read the rest of the Cinderella story.

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