The Very Hungry Caterpillar* was a favourite book in this household at one time, learnt off by heart and leading to a surprising interest in Swiss cheese and a less surprising interest in cupcakes. We all love the very hungry caterpillar when he is safely in Eric Carle’s lovely book but not so much when he is munching his way through my vegetables. The favourite ‘nice green leaves’ of the month are my Brussels sprouts (although mine are purple rather than green). Sprouts are not everyone’s vegetable of choice but there is something special about growing your Christmas dinner. So I grow sprouts and I tolerate the caterpillars and use the time honoured organic method of picking them off rather than blasting them with chemicals. What Eric Carle forgot to mention in his charming tale of healthy eating, transformation and the days of the week is that caterpillars don’t come alone. They bring their friends and party all night. And this year they have invited the snails and slugs as well.
So I’ve been out in the garden with a water sprayer to try and remove a few more. I asked them nicely if they would please leave a few sprouts for Christmas dinner. Perhaps I could tempt them away with cupcakes and Swiss cheese.
*Eric Carle (1969) The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Penguin