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Explore Reading: The Very Hungry Caterpillar


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The Very Hungry Caterpilar

As I bear witness to my children’s memories of summer, a memory from my own childhood stands out. It involved a mason jar, a black furry caterpillar, a stick and something I’d describe as pure magic. During one of my outdoor adventures I discovered a shiny black caterpillar, plump from a feast of leaves. His furry coating looked like magnetic shards standing on end.  I ran inside to introduce him to my mother. Calmly she led the caterpillar and me back outside and presented a mason jar for my new pet’s home. A stick, handfuls of foliage and one punched lid later, I watched as my caterpillar ate and ate and ate, then disappeared within the cocoon it had spun. Although there didn’t seem to be anything happening on the other side of the glass jar, I kept watching. Then one day as I rested on my stomach, staring with boredom at the chrysalis, I saw a wrinkled wing emerge. Everything Eric Carle had shared with me in The Very Hungry Caterpillar was true! The eating marathon, the peaceful slumber, and the beauty of life transformed — all this took place inside a simple mason jar right before my very eyes.


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