Monday, August 27, 2007

A Magical Zoo

Our house is getting busier by the day. We have the delightful company of our favorite dog. The girls are hoping he can stay for at least the remainder of their lifetimes the week. And the three betta fish are all still living, despite one thrashing about so wildly during a bowl change that she ended up on our kitchen floor TWICE. Plus about a week and a half ago two monarch caterpillars joined the fray.

We no longer have the caterpillars. We dutifully fed them milkweed leaves multiple times a day (boy, can those things ever eat). And we even did a container change to empty out all the caterpillar droppings. But then it happened. One of those caterpillars began hanging from the lid, in a "J" shape. Our astute now-third-grader knew what was up after her unit on butterflies last year. "He's going to become a chrysalis now!" she told us. Sure enough, the next morning we found a slimy, pale green blob hanging from the lid. A chrysalis indeed. A couple days later the other caterpillar followed suit. One chrysalis is now brown, soon to turn clear and then...well, we hope they both live for us to see.

So my husband and I were watching the second Harry Potter movie the other night. We were totally engaged in this world of magic and wizards, good versus evil, creatures being turned into objects, objects behaving as creatures. But we had to pause to take the dog for a walk before turning him in for the night. Thus it was in this magic-absorbed state of mind that I stepped into my kitchen and saw the once-caterpillars' again. There, I suddenly realized, was real "magic" taking place. Creatures turning into something different, right before my eyes. And I was amazed by it. Maybe because it wasn't something in a story book, but real, in my own home. Maybe because it really does border on the mythical.

I'm glad that my daughters love bugs and creepy crawlies. Thanks to their inquisitiveness about the creaturely world I'm able to witness to such a thing. What magic!

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