Thank goodness caterpillars come with instructions | Kelly Brown

I’ve never worried so much about a little pot as I have done for the past week.

Caterpillar     (Picture courtesry of the Sussex Wildlife Trust)
Caterpillar (Picture courtesry of the Sussex Wildlife Trust)

But constantly checking that I have not killed its contents has been a little more stressful that I anticipated.

Of course I am talking about caterpillars, as my children embark for the first time on an adventure to grow them at home.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

But last week the postie knocked on the door and handed me a small box plastered in warnings to open immediately - and I was confronted with five tiny little black caterpillars in a pot which I had no idea what to do with. (In my defence, they arrived earlier than anticipated!)

Thank goodness caterpillars come with instructions, ones that mostly involve leaving them in peace and ensuring a consistent warm temperate.

Though this sent me into a panic as my house is never constantly ‘warm’ at this time year - I have doors and windows open all of the time because I like the fresh air!

But then my genius friend, and experienced caterpillar grower, gave me the top tip of the airing cupboard. Phew.

So hidden in the corner on the towel shelf have been living these five tiny creatures in a pot which I’m paranoid will either be knocked over by clumsy child number 1, be dropped by overexcited child number 2, will overheat because the instructions are wrong - or not grow because I hadn’t read them properly anyway.

I’ve lost count the amount of times each day I have been checking on them and stressing over the fact the pot seems to be filled with what I can only describe as fluff - thereby hiding some of the caterpillars from by view. So I’ve had no idea if they are even still alive.
But, miraculously, they have been thriving and have grown into little creatures which could easy be mistaken as extras in some kind of horror sci-fi movie as they climb up the sides of the pot ready for their next ‘stage’.

I can’t wait until we can finally get to the next step and move them from the cupboard and into their ‘habitat’.... where I can most likely obsess over not killing them off even more.