Monday, October 10, 2011


I welcomed them into my home somewhat reluctantly. All I'd seen, at preschool drop-off, was a writhing box full of icky grubs. So when I was asked to babysit the silkworms for part of the holidays, I said yes even though I wanted to say no. In any case, I figured Lola could do all the requisite picking up and putting down. I wasn't going to touch them.

I tended to them dutifully, foraging for their mulberry leaves and feeding them every couple of hours. I cleaned out their box every day and tucked them away at night. And what do you know, I started to quite like them. Within a day or two, I was picking them up without getting squeamish. Ooh, so lovely and soft and silky. They were due to spin their cocoons, so I knew we had something to look forward to. When the first one formed, I was mesmerised.

I think I became a bit obsessed. One night as I lay in bed drifting off, I imagined massive fat grubs slithering up the stairs to smother us in our sleep. Perhaps I was getting too close. I greeted them first thing in the morning. I checked up on them all day long. Sometimes I just gazed. If I was quiet enough, I could hear them munching away on their leaves. "Wouldn't you prefer to stay home and watch the silkworms with me?" I asked the GM a couple of nights ago as he was leaving to see some friends. Lovely silkworms...

I am transformed. (Insert metamorphosis metaphor here, if you must.) I feel like a long-held distaste for wriggly things has been blown away. Where to for me now? Could I have a pet tarantula? Slugs? 

And suddenly there are mulberry trees everywhere. I discovered three new ones just yesterday on a walk I do several times a week, and I'd never them noticed before.

This morning I said goodbye and handed the silkworms back to the preschool director. The kids will watch as the others make cocoons, then reappear as flightless moths to lay their eggs. The house feels a bit empty without them. I admit, when I went to pick up my girl this afternoon, I glanced around, hoping to see my silkworms just one more time...


  1. I hope I never get asked to look after such darlings, I really am pathetic in the squeamish scheme of things.
    There were giant African snails looking for holidays homes a while ago, I stood well back. The thought still makes my skin crawl.

  2. Righto - it's time for a kitten! Wanda could have a sister named Wilma or Willow that you could adopt!

  3. oh dear. not me. i remember as a child thinking they were cute and i liked the squishyness. now they just remind me of the things people on those survival reality shows people are forced to eat.
    but you are cute.

  4. I had them as a kid, I remember having them but I dont remember what happened to them....moths I suppose, is that where they go?

  5. This is wonderful! I'm learning to love those wiggly things too. Your daughter seems unfazed. That's a good thing as she gets older. We're 'seeing' things for the 1st time too that have been there and we never took the time to notice. That little yellow 'pouch' in the egg carton reminds me of felted wool.


I love comments. Thanks for yours!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...