FOUND A CATERPILLAR on our doorstep when I got back from my bike ride, except I thought it was a furry leafy at first. It wasn’t until the what-I-thought-was-a-furry-leaf started walking that I realized it was actually a caterpillar. I wondered what kind of moth he might become. He seemed so fragile, so lost, crawling who knows where across the food desert of our doorstep.
Not five minutes later, going out to fetch the mail, it was only after I’d stepped across the doorstep that I remembered to step thoughtfully across the doorstep next time I went out. Turning around to assess the casualties, I swallowed my whole heart. A preliminary visual sweep of the scene revealed no injured caterpillars, thank God, but upon closer inspection, I couldn’t deny a small wet spot on the concrete, six or seven inches from the threshold, a dot of caterpillar juice, sadly not furry at all.
They say it’s good karma to release a cricket into the wild, to relocate a spider instead of smashing one, to harmonize with bats and mosquitoes, and my intentions were entirely noble. Yet the caterpillar’s blood is on my hands alone, and I shouldn’t be surprised if I end up as a caterpillar one day. Isn’t that how karma does you? When I get swallowed by a grackle, very very thoughtfully, the moment I emerge from my chrysalis, could I honestly say I’d been treated unfairly?