Anyone my age or older will remember those loud and clunky movie projectors used in elementary schools to show educational films. With those machines we watched all sorts of films, including nature stuff. The time lapsed films were always the most interesting – cells dividing, flowers blooming, butterflies hatching from cocoons. The one thing that frustrated me about those films was that they never told us the time frame in which these things occurred. Were the cells dividing in a matter of seconds or days? Public education was always disappointing to me. One day, playing in my yard I found a cocoon, and I broke off the stick it was attached to and stuck it in a mason jar. Finally, an opportunity for me to see for myself how long the metamorphosis lasted. I put the jar on my window sill. The very next day when I got home from school, I checked the jar and saw that the cocoon had opened. I was very excited. BUT there was no butterfly. I turned the jar all around, and saw nothing. I was heartbroken. Once again I found myself attempting something, and failing. I knew my mom would want her jar back and so i unscrewed the lid to dump out the stick and leaves. As the stick fell to the ground, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. flat against the underside of the lid was the butterfly. It was as if it was hiding. And as soon as we caught sight of each other, the butterfly burst out, fiercely flapping it’s wings. Out the window it flew and up into the tree in our front yard. My experiment was a success after all. It is one of my favorite memories.
Once, When I Was A Kid