Something’s going on--underneath it all.
As summer days were waning and butterflies had moved on, I found a hairy caterpillar wearing his woollies for winter—the prickly, black bristles that sprout from bumpy knobs in rings winding around his body. Bands of red skin flashed through them, as he bent and wiggled along. Intrigued, I kept him—and placed him with three more in the terrarium that always waits, ready, for something to come creeping.
For several warm weeks, they ate. And I was happy to bring them their favorite—short stems of that unwelcome honeysuckle, with the tender, fresh leaves at the tip. Then the days turned sharply colder and from the tree above, leaves fell in piles to the ground. Slower and slower, each day, they moved. Until they one day, I found them curled head to tail, resting in slight depressions they’d found or made for themselves in the rich, dark dirt I’d given them.
I peek in on them now, from day to day, as wintry frost lines the windows of their room.
Underneath the leafy blanket, next year's beauty sleeps.
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