If you have had young children in the past 40 years, you may be familiar with Eric Carle. Before I was a SAHM, I taught both the second and third grade. I am overly fond of good children's literature and I would consider Carle among the best of the best.
So, should I be flattered that Mr. Carle's very own leading larva from his best known book made an appearance in my garden this week? So flattered that I'd overlook his near annihilation of one of my squash plants? I think not.
Over the course of about two or three days, Mr. Hungry Caterpillar cleaned off every last leaf on one of my plants. Of course, I blame myself because, after deduction and speculation, I spent those couple of days assuming I was being visited by something much larger. I had even cast blame on that cute little bunny I met a week ago. I'm so clueless that I never thought a BUG could do that kind of damage in so short a time. Finally, on the third morning, to my horror, I went out to find the plant completely stripped of every last leaf. I then noticed the second squash plant showing the same signs of destruction on it's biggest leaf. It suddenly occurred to me to turn that leaf over and WHOM DID I FIND?? Mister Hungry Caterpillar himself, munching and wondering why I'd bothered him.
In case you're wondering, this doesn't end well for our loathsome larva. If only he'd decided that would be a good day to build a cocoon. But, alas, he made a smorgasbord out of my squash plant, and I was done catering. He had officially had his Last Supper.
After a day or two of intensive care and recovery, I'm happy to report that the demolished squash plant has already put out three new leaves. I may not have killed it yet! *Whew!*