Author: Daydreamer
Written June, 2002
Posted: March 8, 2004

The Cocoon

When I was 8 years old, I found a huge pinecone with a wonderful cocoon on it. In my youthful exuberance, I picked it up, brought it home and put it in an old aquarium to wait for my butterfly to emerge. My dad, nature enthusiast that he was, told me not to be disappointed if it was an ugly old moth, because the cocoon just "didn't look right" to him. I draped a piece of cheesecloth lightly over the top of the aquarium and began the wait. Every day I would jump up in the morning to check on my butterfly and every evening it was the last thing I looked at. This went on for over a week, the longest week ever in the history of 8-year-old girls.

On the ninth night, I went to bed as usual, sure that my butterfly would never emerge. My little 8-year-old heart was just breaking, concerned that by picking up the pinecone and moving it, I must have injured or damaged, or even killed my beautiful butterfly. The next day was a Saturday, and despite my own disappointment I was determined to put the pinecone and my precious cocoon back out in the woods behind the house. I fell asleep that night, already in mourning for the butterfly I would never see.

Next day, half-awake, I felt something tickle. I stretched and rolled a bit, the morning sun warm on my cheeks. I reached up to brush the tickle from my face just as I opened my eyes for the first time. The whole bedroom was swarming with little tiny baby spiders!! They were all over me, all over the bed, the floor, the walls, and the ceiling. They were hanging from the curtains, climbing the closet door, and marching across the dresser. They were even multiplied on the mirror! I opened my mouth to scream, and three of them fell in my mouth! I coughed and sputtered and managed to get them out, but then I was so terrified of opening my mouth again, I couldn't move. I lay there on the bed for about 700 years until my father came to check on me. His jaw dropped when he realized what had happened. And then, in typical SuperDad fashion, he swooped me off the bed, ran through the house and out into the front yard, where he proceeded to hose the spiders off of me.

We spent the day clearing spiders from my room, and continued to find them for weeks after. I ended up moving to the guest bedroom for a while - it was just too impossible to fall asleep in that spider trap room. It was the last cocoon I ever touched and I never did get my long anticipated butterfly.