When I first moved to Japan and started to live in my wife’s apartment I was really excited to have a little extra space. Yes, I said extra space. See, in Hollywood I had one of the smallest apartments you could ever imagine. It was basically four walls, a bathroom and a front door. So when I moved to Japan my new apartment seemed like a palace. It even had a balcony. The balcony was cluttered and a bit of a mess, but within a couple of months we were able to have it fairly cleared off, and clean. I decided once the mess was all gone that we should start buying some plants and small trees. My wife grew flowers. I bought a lemon tree, grew tomatoes, and strawberries. After a few weeks I noticed little small round eggs on my lemon tree, and it seemed that they were being dropped there by a really beautiful butterfly, so I just left them and didn’t think much of it. Then a couple of more weeks went by and these little eggs turned into caterpillars and they started to eat every last leaf off of my lemon tree. It was horrible. It was short lived however, because a hungry little paying mantis found the caterpillars and ate all of them, except three. I decided that I would save the last three and make sure that they lived long enough to cocoon and become butterflies themselves. I watched them like a hawk, and sure enough they started to change color signaling that their cocooning stage was about to start, when all of the sudden one day two of the caterpillars just disappeared. I looked everywhere, but I was never able to find them. I was determined to see the last caterpillar through to the cocoon stage, so I moved my small lemon tree inside, and as it sat there on the lemon tree I watched it, checking it many times a day. Then one day…… it was gone. I couldn’t believe it. I check the carpet, under the couch, and even in the dirt of the lemon tree, but it was nowhere to be found. After a couple of months or so I forgot all about my little caterpillar, until the day my wife SCREAMED…
“I didn’t know!! I didn’t know!!!”
I said, What!? What’s wrong? She said.. “Look!”
There attached to our curtains was a small green cocoon. I still didn’t understand why my wife had screamed. I said it’s Ok. It’s just attached to the curtains, and she said “NO!”.
“I WASHED THEM.”
My wife had washed the curtains a few weeks before, and must have washed them with the caterpillar’s cocoon attached. She was very sad and upset, but I said to her “It still looks alive”, so I pulled it off the curtains and put it on the dirt at the bottom of the lemon tree, and there it lay for many weeks. But one day while I was watching TV, a butterfly started flying around my living room. It had made it. It was alive. I couldn’t believe it. I took some pictures, opened the door and let it out. It flew all over the place until it was finally out of sight.