This morning when we opened the apartment door Nish spotted a little caterpillar on the landing. It was tiny and slowly making its way on the fairly slipper tiles. “Like baby!” the boys said…true…it did look a little like our baby who is currently trying to move by lifting his bum and then propelling himself forward. When it was time to close the door the boys did not want to say bye to the caterpillar…so i succumbed and fetched a plastic can (one that otherwise holds tennis balls). We made little holes in the lid and put some leaves inside it from the kitchen veggies. Then we carefully picked up the caterpillar on a leaf and dropped it inside. It seemed sluggish but was moving around a little bit. A couple of hours later, it died. The twins kept looking at it and telling me that it was not moving. “Sleeping?” one of them asked. Just as i was about to answer, the nanny came in and pronounced the caterpillar dead. Now the twins have no clue what dead means but they figured it was something bad and Nish got pretty upset and kept saying “capartillar mar gayi” (the caterpillar is dead) …”no mar gayi” (not dead). He gently petted the plastic can and told me he was being careful and doing “pyari pyari” (giving love?) to the caterpillar inside.
Once the twins fell asleep, i got rid of the caterpillar. I guess they will ask me about it when they wake up and i am probably going to tell them it went away because i am really not sure if and how to get into the ‘dead’ bit quite so soon.
Also, i am not sure whether the caterpillar was going to die anyway or whether putting it into the can precipitated things. Anyone who has tried this with better luck? As a kid we had used a glass bottle and the caterpillar had eventually turned into a cocoon and a butterfly.