Two caterpillars crawling on a leaf
By some strange accident in contact came;
Their conversation, passing all belief,
Was that same argument, the very same,
That has been "proed and conned" from man to man,
Yea, ever since this wondrous world began.
Clear DotThe ugly creatures,
Clear DotDeaf and dumb and blind,
Clear DotDevoid of features
Clear DotThat adorn mankind,
Were vain enough, in dull and wordy strife,
To speculate upon a future life.
The first was optimistic, full of hope;
The second, quite dyspeptic, seemed to mope.
Said number one, "I'm sure of our salvation."
Said number two, "I'm sure of our damnation;
Our ugly forms alone would seal our fates
And bar our entrance through the golden gates.
Suppose that death should take up unawares,
How could we climb the golden stairs?
If maidens shun us as they pass us by,
Would angels bid us welcome in the sky?
I wonder what great crimes we have committted,
That leave us so forlorn and so unpitied.
Perhaps we've been ungrateful, unforgiving;
'Tis plain to me that life's not worth the living."
"Come, come, cheer up," the jovial worm replied,
"Let's take a look upon the other side;
Suppose we cannot fly like moths or millers,
Are we to blame for being caterpillars?
Will that same God that doomed us crawl the earth,
A prey to every bird that's given birth,
Forgive our captor as he eats and sings,
Pupa And damn poor us because we have not wings?
If we can't skim the air like owl or bat,
A worm will turn 'for a' that.'"
They argued through the summer; autumn nigh,
The ugly things composed themselves to die;
And so, to make their funeral quite complete,
Each wrapped him in his little winding sheet.
The tangled web encompassed them full soon,
Each for his coffin made him a cocoon.
All through the winter's chilling blast they lay
Butterfly Dead to the world, aye, dead as human clay.
Lo, spring comes forth with all her warmth and love;
She brings sweet justice from the realms above;
She breaks the chrysalis, she resurrects the dead;
Two butterflies ascend encircling her head.
And so this emblem shall forever be
A sign of immortality.

Clear Dotby Joseph Jefferson

The photos are of the Variegated Fritillary Butterfly (larva, pupa, and adult) and are from the webpage:
Variegated Fritillary by Johnson County K-State Research, and Extension Master Gardener, Jacalyn Loyd Goetz


Winter, 1999
"Everest" by Eunice Tietjens

Fall, 1999
"Tree at my Window" by Robert Frost

Summer, 1999
"Climb The Mountains" by John Muir

Spring, 1999
"The Rose Still Grows Beyond the Wall" by A.L. Frink

Winter, 1998
"The Runaway" by Robert Frost

Fall, 1998
"Hope" by Emily Dickinson

Summer, 1998
"A Patch of Roses" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

Spring, 1998
"Song of the River" by William Randolph Hearst

January, 1998
"Birches" by Robert Frost

November and December, 1997
"One Last Rose" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

October, 1997
"Far From the Madding Crowd" by Nixon Waterman

September, 1997
"Kiss From a Rose" by Seal, from the Album: "Seal"

August, 1997
"Summer Rose Saga" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

July, 1997
"A Bird Came Down the Walk" by Emily Dickinson

June, 1997
"The Road Not Taken" by Robert Frost

May, 1997
"The Path That Leads to Nowhere" by Corinne Roosevelt Robinson

April, 1997
"The Firefly" by Jane Stuart

March, 1997
"Plant a Tree" by Lucy Larcom

February, 1997
"The Daffodils" by William Wordsworth

January, 1997
"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" by Robert Frost

December, 1996
"Wintering Rosarians" by Gail Lemnah Barnett

November, 1996
"'Tis the Last Rose of Summer" by Thomas Moore

October, 1996
"Autumn Chant" by Edna St. Vincent Millay

September, 1996
"The Fish" by Elizabeth Bishop

August, 1996
"Departmental" by Robert Frost

July, 1996
"City Flies" by Alan Van Dine

June, 1996
"My Neighbor's Roses" by A.L. Gruber

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