Anecdotes

My first pet

My first ever pet was a caterpillar.
Not an ordinary caterpillar by any means.
It was a Privet Hawk Moth caterpillar.
This caterpillar is as long as a man's thumb,sometimes even longer. It is bright green,with white and purple stripes,and has a hard,shiny black and yellow horn at its tail end. It lives on privet,as its name suggests,and is by no means easy to find,in spite of its bright livery.

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My infant school was surrounded by high privet hedges. When I first saw one of these large,chubby fellows I could not believe my eyes. I thought it was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen,and did not understand how I could have missed it before.
I picked it carefully off its twig. It was cool and silky to touch. I took some privet twigs for its dinner and carried it home. Once there, I found a big jam-jar,arranged the twigs as tastefully as possible,and went in search of a length of cotton. I intended to give my caterpillar some freedom and exercise.
The cotton was tied to the caterpillar's horn; I would take it into the garden,gently tip it out of the jar and try to encourage it to enjoy a short walk. Sadly, I soon discovered that caterpillars do not make good pets- they refuse to be trained.( Later, much much later,I had a lovable black bull-terrier who was similarly stubborn).
Within a fortnight my first pet was back in the dark school hedge,munching privet. I was,however, not discouraged: one day, one wonderful day, I would have a pet of my own...
And that's another story...

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