Friday, August 31, 2007

A Very Green Caterpillar

I'm a city girl. I've said it before, and I stand behind it. I was in my twenties the first time I saw a cow, and I shrieked with delight. I think they're cute. I think chickens are silly. Milk comes from the fridge. Beef comes wrapped in plastic. Nature is lovely, but we don't understand each other.

Cue the bugs.

When it comes to bugs, my day gets weird. I don't like bugs, but I don't like killing them either. While I might make an exception for a silverfish, spider, or ant, it's only it if my husband does the dirty work. The sound effect that usually accompanies killing certain bugs lingers with me for days. To be honest, I'm a little grossed out right now at the thought of it.

Every now and then, I want just a little bit of basil to sprinkle on food. But unlike parsley or cilantro, I seldom feel I need an entire bunch of basil, so I don't buy it. So last week, I bought a little basil plant to keep on the windowsill for strategic basil-ing purposes. So far, it's worked out well. I like watching the wee little plant grow, which is not the norm because my general practice is to kill all that is green. Not intentionally, mind you. I just over-water, under-water...or stare at it too long. I don't know why, but I'm like the green reaper (sorry...I can't help a well placed pun).

Feeling happy about my non-dead basil on my city-girl windowsill the other day, I was admiring the leaves. A caterpillar. It was a wee little caterpillar of the same brilliant hue as the basil. I wanted to take it outside and leave it on a plant, but that required touching the bug, which, city-girl that I am, disgusted me to no end. My husband stepped in. But apparently, his "humane" approach involved a paper towel and a basil-green splotch. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,"I screamed. He was confused. Did I want the bug gone or not? When will he ever learn? "I want you to leave the bug outside." Not amused. "I'm serious! It's cute...I just don't want it on my basil." He then proceeded to try flicking it off. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!! You're going to kill it!!"

In the end, to save our marriage, I covered up my ears and he claims to have kindly left the caterpillar outside. See no evil, hear no evil.

I hope it grows up to be a Very Hungry Caterpillar.


AliB said...

I know exactly how you feel. I hate killing bugs too but I've got lots of caterpillars making their home on my brand new basil too (and I've been about as good with plants until recently)...and unfortunately no one to deal with them except me. Have you managed to keep them off since? If