“Who Are You?” Said the Caterpillar

Every time I see a caterpillar, I imagine it sitting on a mushroom smoking hookah. It makes me smile.

Maybe that’s why I was so happy to see one of these yesterday:

It’s a Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillar! (This isn’t my pic, my camera is broken) It was chillin’ on the back of a bench in the playground. These apparently turn into these:

This is, of course, the Sycamore Tussock Moth. Pretty, huh?

I honestly don’t know why seeing this caterpillar made me so happy. I got all nostalgic and remembered all the weird kinds of bugs I’d seen during my childhood. My favorite was when we saw a Praying Mantis here in Brooklyn. I’ve never seen one since. Ladybugs make me think of the time my family and I went upstate and there was literally a swarm of them; it was actually quite creepy after a while. And when I see the first few fireflies of the season, it reminds me of any number of summer evenings. Everyone hanging out in front of the house; the grownups talking and laughing(probably slightly tipsy from the beers); the kids trying to catch the poor bugs or playing some other ridiculous game. Not worrying about any danger, really, because there were a bunch of grownups around who would not hesitate to grab a bat if anyone messed with any of the kids on the block – regardless of who the kid belonged to. Telling each other ghost stories and running away from water bugs…

I think the caterpillar made me remember what Brooklyn used to be like for me, how happy my childhood really was. And it made me think of what I want Brooklyn to be like for Lil Blue.

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