Did you ever have one of those days when, in spite of your best intentions, things go horribly wrong? Apparently, today I have become a mass murderer–of caterpillars. While waiting for my daughter to finish her music lesson, I spent some time in her teacher’s garden. I spotted a caterpillar feasting away on her parsley plant. As I looked closer, I saw that the plants were covered in caterpillars. As a small-time gardener myself, I try to be aware of destructive visitors on plants. So I did what I figured a thoughtful gardener would do: I removed the caterpillars.
How was I supposed to know that the music teacher had put them there on purpose?? It turns out she is raising the caterpillars to become swallowtail butterflies!
I hope they all make it. I didn’t kill any of them; I just placed them on the ground away from the herbs.
The music teacher was not mean or visibly angry, and she didn’t yell at me. But I’m sure she was wishing I would have just minded my own business. It does make me wonder sometimes why I bother to “pay it forward”, as they used to say. Many times I’ll hold a door open for someone or let someone go ahead of me in line and not get so much as a head-nod of acknowledgment. I know you’re not supposed to do nice things looking for a reward, but a little smile of thanks goes a long way in our culture of “me first at all costs.” Maybe I wouldn’t feel so bad about the caterpillars if I could see some small evidence of little kindnesses being paid forward.
What a way to ruin a day. Just call me the Swallowtail Killer.