Friday, June 03, 2011

Repent! Judgement day is at hand!

I am now convinced that the world in coming to an end. Twenty-four hours ago, I thought the Rapturists were utterly insane. Today, I am a believer. My mind was changed at precisely four o'clock yesterday afternoon as I was standing in a park with my kids and a couple of friends.

When we first arrived at the park, I ushered my children off to play on the playground. From nearby, I heard Nicholas exclaim, “Mom, I found a caterpillar!”

“That's nice, Nicky. Now go play.”

As I stood there talking to my friends, I heard another one of our children say, “I found one, too.” Then, “Me too!” Then, “Here's another one!” At that moment, I looked over to where the children were playing and noticed a concrete wall that stood a couple of feet high was teeming with caterpillars. Wiggling, squirming, ugly little caterpillars. One of my friends, Kathy, who is a lovely soul with much more respect for the creature world than I possess, stopped her son from hopping up on the wall, imploring him not to crush the bugs. My son Nicholas, on the other hand, was pulling them off the wall and tossing them into the air with gleeful abandon.

I tried to ignore the caterpillars as I held Kathy's gorgeous baby girl. However, as I was standing there talking, my other friend, Jessy, looked at me and said, “Shannon, you have four caterpillars climbing on your legs.” What the hell?!? I quickly handed the baby off and let my creature-loving friend gently remove the caterpillars from my pant legs. Luckily, I was wearing jeans. My instinct would have been to grab them and toss them to their certain deaths completely across the playground as I screamed like a little girl. However, since I was in the company of adult friends, I refrained. Luckily for the caterpillars, Kathy was much gentler with them than I would have been.

We tried moving to a park bench on the other side of the playground to get away from the caterpillars, but there was no escaping them. They were falling from the trees. They were covering every flat surface at the playground. They were writhing in the sand in droves. There had to have been thousands of them. Perhaps more. It was by far the creepiest sight I had ever seen. It bordered on terrifying. I had images in my mind of caterpillars crawling into my open-toed sandals. Crawling under the legs of my jeans. Of worst of all, falling from the trees and landing in my hair!

As Jessy and I were swinging our kids, whilst trying to ignore the utter ghastliness of the caterpillar invasion, Lucas walked up to me and said, “Mom, the caterpillars are making me nervous.”

“Me too, kiddo,” I responded. Jessy, who was in complete agreement with me about the creepy caterpillars, suggested leaving the park and letting the kids play in her backyard nearby. I quickly, and without hesitation, agreed.

We did a caterpillar sweep before leaving the park, removing all caterpillars from the children's clothing before allowing them in our cars. As Nicholas was getting in the car, he walked up to me, shoved his fingers in my face, and said “Eeewww.” He had some sort of sticky substance covering his fingers.

“Nicholas, what is on your fingers?”

“Ummm....I don't know.”

“Nicholas, it that caterpillar guts all over your fingers?”

“Ummm...I don't know. Maybe?”

“Maybe? You don't know if a caterpillar exploded all over your hand?”

“I don't know.” He averted his eyes, obviously trying to hide his guilt over the caterpillar homicide he had just committed. “Momma, do we have wipes?” Luckily, I carry a package of baby wipes in my purse for just such bug-gut emergencies. I handed him a couple of wipes, told him he would have to clean up the forensic evidence himself, and we were off.

I am pretty certain now, after seeing the multitude of caterpillars writhing on every available surface at the park yesterday, that the end is near. I am also convinced that it is not locusts that God will unleash upon us. Rather, it is caterpillars. So I say repent, my friends! Judgement day is upon us.

For those of you who live in the Twin Cities, Lyndale Farmstead Park on 39th and Bryant is the park you should avoid like the plague. That is, unless you fancy letting your children play amidst signs of he Apocalypse.


Barb said...

Wow. That's crazy. Sammy would have loved it! We're bug lovers in our house. We have magnifying glasses and "bug lockers" and lots of bug books, and Sam's latest favorite thing is digging up and then burying worms in the garden. "They're good for the plants, Mommy." And every single bug he sees raises the questions "Do you like that bug, Mommy? Is that good for the garden, Mommy?" Not a fan of caterpillars but if it keeps Sammy happy for a few minutes so I can sit down and breathe for 30 seconds without hearing BOTH children scream, I'm all for them.

Shannon said...

Barb--Nicholas is the exact same way. He is constantly looking under rocks for worms and digging up worms. Every one he finds, he carries to our raised garden beds and puts them in the garden to "help the plants grow strong." I am not a huge bug fan, but can tolerate most of them (with the exception of centipedes). But the sheer volume of caterpillars at the park yesterday was just freaky. Totally creepy!

Jessica said...

O.k., that sounds beyond creepy! I don't think I would have lasted in that park for very long. But just think of all the amazing butterflies that should be there eventually. ;)

Shannon said...

Nice way to put a positive spin on it, Jessica! But I think thousands upon thousands of butterflies would be equally, if not a bit more, creepy!

Anonymous said...

Let the poor caterpillars have their day in the sun. Beautiful butterflies to follow. At least your area is pollution free to have caterpillars and butterflies.

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