Back in July, Miss Dainty found a caterpillar in our basil box. She desperately wanted to keep it so we could watch it turn into a butterfly. The next day, after searching high and low for a jar of some sort, I went outside to get it and couldn't find it anywhere. A few days later, I was adding a cilantro plant to the planter, and what did I happen to dig up? A maroon pupae. So, Miss Dainty was very excited.
We put a little bit of dirt into the jar, and buried it in there, just like it was in the basil box. A few weeks went by, and eventually a moth made it's appearance into the world. It was after bedtime when it happened, so I took the jar upstairs to show Miss Dainty. I let her watch it flit around the jar for a few minutes, and then told her I was going to have to let it go, because we didn't have any food for it. She was a little upset because she didn't get to see it hatch, and also because she just wanted to keep it. But I convinced her it wasn't fair to the moth.
"Do you think we'll find another caterpillar?" she asked me.
"Well, I don't know, maybe," I answered.
"Can I pray for one?" she asked sweetly.
I smiled, "Sure, you can pray for one." And so she did, very sweetly asking God for another caterpillar.
The summer continued to pass by, and Mr. Hubs and I did find a few caterpillars while doing yard work once, but I wasn't sure which plant they were eating from, so I left them alone. We eventually went to Botanical Gardens with a homeschool group, and Miss Dainty had her fill of caterpillar and butterfly watching at the butterfly house. After that, we didn't see anymore, and it seemed she forgot about them, especially with Fall approaching to distract her.
Fast forward to two weeks ago. I went outside to cut some basil to cook with. I really haphazardly chopped four stalks down with scissors, not paying attention to which ones I was choosing, not being careful at all. In fact, I shook them off before taking them inside. Once inside, I grabbed one stalk at a time to pull the leaves off and rinsed them off. I used 3 of the stalks in dinner that night. While cleaning up, I grabbed the last stalk and as I was about to throw it away, I figured I might as well put it in a jar of water and use it later. Didn't think twice about it.
Another week went by, and I started noticing some of the leaves were being chewed away. I figured my cat must have been getting up there to gnaw on them. Although, I did think it strange, since she's never gone after my basil before. She's never liked it. But I dismissed it, and didn't think about it again.
Then last week, I looked over again and realized the leaves were almost gone! I assumed, again, that my cat must have suddenly acquired the taste for basil, but as I looked I noticed something I hadn't before: black dots on the counter. What is that? I thought.
I got closer to take a better look and thought, is that poop? I looked the plant over more thoroughly, and sure enough, I found a little green caterpillar munching away on one of the last few leaves. I couldn't believe that it was there, and had been there the whole time!
Some might say it was coincidence, but I personally don't believe in coincidences. I cannot believe that 1) he was one of the stalks I just happened to grab, 2) stayed on after the basil was shaken, 3) was on the only stalk I didn't use that night to cook, 4) for some reason I didn't throw that stalk away (even though I had a ton more outside!) and 5) that it didn't fall into the jar of water.
I called Miss Dainty over and after she saw it, she got so incredibly excited. We placed it in a safer environment, using a smaller jar for water and placing paper towels in it just in case he fell. I asked Miss Dainty if she remembered what she asked for last time we had a caterpillar. She thought about it for a second, and her eyes lit up. "I prayed for another caterpillar!" she exclaimed, "God answered my prayer!" It was such an awesome moment for her, a wonderful faith building block. I'm so glad Mr. Hubs and I didn't bring the caterpillars that we had found inside. I'm so glad I did not interfere, or try to arrange something myself. This was so not my doing, and it encouraged me as well.
So this past week, he has been very content in his personal basil buffet. He's been constantly eating, and the girls have been happily watching him do so.