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  • Karl Walker-Finch

Becoming a butterfly




We grew some purple sprouting broccoli in our garden this year, quite successfully I think. It turns out caterpillars love it even more than we do. We'd noticed plenty of butterflies flutter by the plants, much to the delight of our kids. When I'd harvested most of our crop and brought it inside we found dozens of caterpillars all over the plant. My daughter was extremely excited about this and immediately set about building them a habitat filled with their favourite broccoli leaves.


She did of course lose interest somewhat when it came to clearing out the frass (caterpillar poo, yes it has it's own name and they make tons of the stuff).


"Why do they take so long to turn into butterflies? If I was a caterpillar, I'd build my cocoon straight away and then I'd come out of it straight away and be a butterfly"


Well if this isn't an apt metaphor for the immediate gratification of the world we currently live in, I don't know what is.


We've tried this a couple of times before, regrettably with very little success. This time though, we had our first butterfly!


It takes a long time for a caterpillar to feed, grow and build up the strength to undergo this radical change. It takes time to build beautiful functioning wings in it's protective shell.


When it's all done, the majestic butterfly that haphazardly makes its way across our garden bears no resemblance to the dot of a caterpillar it once was and it's easy to think it was born that way.


A lasting change doesn't happen in an instant.



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