My Life As A Chrysalis

On the out­side, it appears as if I’m just a blob hang­ing on a twig. Yet this is when I really soar – even though I don’t have wings just yet. In fact, I don’t have any body parts to speak of – no legs, no eyes, no anten­nae, not even a mouth. I’m basi­cally cater­pil­lar mush.

My meta­mor­pho­sis begins as soon as I hang upside down from a branch in order to drop my last cater­pil­lar skin. The juices that used to help me digest my food are now eat­ing me, turn­ing all of my tis­sues into cater­pil­lar juice. It’s not a pretty sight! Yet hid­den deep inside of this brew are tiny sets of cells called “imag­i­nal buds.”


I’ve had these imag­i­nal buds since I was an egg. They just hung around in my body await­ing the big change, the trans­for­ma­tion into a but­ter­fly that would one day begin. Once I begin to meta­mor­phose, these cells wake up and are as hun­gry as a cater­pil­lar. They chow down on all of my old parts that are now cater­pil­lar mush. They grow, divide, and keep grow­ing at turbo-race-car speed.

Six imag­i­nal buds will become my legs, two buds will become my anten­nae and four buds will become my wings. (Per­haps that is why I kept hav­ing those dreams about fly­ing!) And then even more buds will become all the rest of me.

So this meta­mor­pho­sis is pretty amaz­ing stuff. By the time I’ve turned into a but­ter­fly, I will be an entirely dif­fer­ent being. It’s like putting your dog to bed one night and the next morn­ing it’s a giraffe!

Thank you for vis­it­ing me in this life. It prob­a­bly didn’t look like a lot was hap­pen­ing but, as you can see, looks can be deceiv­ing. Now see what unfolds in my next and final life!


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