My 5 year old granddaughter brought home a Wooly Bear Caterpillar. She has named it Julia.(More)

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After googling, we know a lot more about wooly bear caterpillars. The granddaughter isn’t much interested in factual knowledge. She won’t listen to speculation about Julia maybe being a boy. Google wasn’t helpful in telling us how to tell the difference. It was helpful in telling us that they could be successfully raised indoors and that they preferred oak leaves.

Julia lives in a little bug house. It’s a clear plastic cylinder about 4″ x 6″ with a removable lid. My granddaughter is quite attached to Julia. She carries her around and helps her move from one finger to the next. She pets Julia and talks to her. For now, Julia is surviving. Hard to know if she’s thriving and how she feels about being captive.

For a while there was some concern that captivity might be a death sentence for Julia. My granddaughter was visibly disturbed. She said, “I want her to live but I don’t want to let her go. She’s my friend and I love her.” The passions of a 5 year old are crystal clear. The dilemma of having to let go of something you love to allow it to grow is universal.

Julia is turning into a metaphor for a lot of life’s lessons. It’s only been a week. There are more lessons to learn.


Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.