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Visitors To My Tomato Plant

Rowan wrote me while I was at work today to let me know there were some creepy bugs on our tomato plant. She sent me that first picture, and at first we both thought it was a caterpillar. It even had the distinctive "staring eyes" of a caterpillar. Lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes.

Okay, well maybe not so Jaws-like, but Rowan drew a circle around one. She said there was another caterpillar on there, too, but she didn't want to hang around them too much so she didn't get a shot.

When I got home I grabbed the camera, went out back and started looking for an up-close shot. I have to say it's lucky Rowan went back inside when she did. Before I can get the macro setting active on the camera, here comes this guy in the second picture.

Same staring eyes, same voracious appetite; but something was different. Was it the way he was so obviously disregarding his Wanted poster? Was it that he decided to eat in almost the exact opposite direction as his brother?

No, it was something...mystical. There was some connection between me and this caterpillar that transcended nature and the spiritual bonds of existence which said to me, "Hey man, let me be and I'll let you be. Then we can just be; and that's all we want to be anyway."

Sure it sounded like a Nike commercial, but for a caterpillar that's still pretty good.

Turns out later they weren't caterpillars at all, but Tomato Hornworms; they'll kill your tomato plants most surely if not removed. Once we realized that I went out and relegated Hornworm #1, who I had nicknamed Darryl, to the outer reaches of the yard.

But when it came to Hornworm #2, Antoine, he was nowhere to be found. All that was left was a note, a very small note in his handwriting, which read, "I are and you are, but I can't be where you am."

Not perfect, you know, but pretty good for a hornworm.

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