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Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Classroom Community, A Caterpillar, And A Lesson In Love

Lessons Learned

A Lesson About Love



Becky brought in a large jar containing grass, a couple of sticks, and a furry, fat caterpillar. The lid of the jar had many small holes so “Fuzzy” could feel a little breeze. Right then, Fuzzy, with Becky’s approval, became our class pet. Very attentive babysitters kept an eye on Fuzzy from eight to three, Monday through Friday.  Evenings and weekends, although Fuzzy was on his own, he was never out of any of our thoughts. He was the recipient of pictures, poems, a song, and various decorations for him to look at just outside his jar. We loved him. One ordinary Monday morning everything had changed. He had disappeared into his own homemade chrysalis. So still. Kind of like a sleeping bag. How did he know how to do that? Is he lonely? We watched. And watched. We missed him. We waited. Before long, though, everything changed again. We arrived at school and Fuzzy was out of the chrysalis. He was a little bit wet and crumpled, but he was really trying to stretch and exercise in his new body. He couldn’t move very well in Becky’s jar. We had some very big decisions to make; we needed a class meeting outside with Fuzzy. What should we do? We sat in a circle in the grass with Becky holding Fuzzy in his jar. Keep him because he’s our pet, said someone. The jar is too small, said someone else. We can get a bigger jar. But he needs to fly. He can fly in a bigger jar if it’s a lot bigger. Fuzzy needs to fly in the trees and sky and play with his friends in the flowers, said Becky, that’s what he needs to do. Audible gasp, you mean let him out of the jar; let him go? He needs to go, continued Becky, he needs to be free. Becky was right, we all ultimately agreed. So right there in that circle on the grass, we each offered Fuzzy our best wishes, and thanked him for being an awesome pet. Then Becky opened the jar, set it on its side in the grass, and out Fuzzy crawled. We watched with silent smiles as he stretched and exercised his new wings. Within just a few minutes, Fuzzy jumped aboard a soft, sweet breeze and flew into an exciting new adventure. We waved goodbye. And we smiled. We loved him. We raised him. We set him free.