The Zoey Blog: A caterpillar in Bryant Park... FINAL - COVER UNIVERSE EXPLORERS ORDER

Friday, July 30, 2010

A caterpillar in Bryant Park...

Today I saw a caterpillar reading books in Bryant Park. It only makes sense since the library is right there. He was rather indifferent to the children playing around him, and only took leave of his attention to the literature spread out before him when Zoey and her new friend, Katia, showed an interest in him. His name was Willie, and he was both appreciative of the affection, and simultaneously annoyed that he couldn't finish Hattie the Hippo uninterrupted. It was also quite distressful, I"m sure, when Katia's brother, Alex, tried to kill Willie with a handful of gravel dumped right on his head. Despite such unpleasantries it was a good day. I didn't even know caterpillars could read...or that they had names, let alone names as cool as Willie.

I discovered Willie rooting around the children's bookshelves, near the carousel, in Bryant Park. We became fast friends, and then Alex and Katia came to meet him. Zoey wasn't all that keen on other young children taking an interest in her Dad, so she scooted on over pretty quickly.

Dad with Katia and Alex

Zoey watching Dad Bryant Park

Zoey friends and Dad Bryant park

At first Alex was playing the poop, not exactly believing that caterpillars could read, so after I let him out of the headlock he was much more agreeable, and soon enough we had everyone, including some suspicious German kids (as most German kids are) who were nearby believing that this particular caterpillar could, indeed, read. It didn't help that at first Alex was telling everyone not to touch Willie because caterpillars bite. That's kinda how Alex ended up in such an escape free headlock in the first place. Eventually, he gave in to the notion that perhaps it was possible that caterpillars could read.

Zoey Katie Caterpillar 1

Before I knew it, the kids had stolen Willie and were trying to teach him tricks on the tables several feel away. He was having none of it. He had come to the park to read and here were two little girls and one fairly sadistic little boy fiddling with his morning. He'd had better days, I'm sure.

Zoey Katia Alex Bryant Park

Almost as fast as Willie could conjugate a verb gravel was raining down on his tiny little caterpillar head thanks to Alex. Fortunately, Zoey and Katia were there to dig him out. At that point we were forced to put Alex in a choke hold for everyone's safety. Once he was good and out cold we managed to have a bit more fun. We all agreed that little boys are pretty crazy.

Zoey Katia gravelled Willie

Once it was just Zed and Katia, Willie felt a lot more comfortable, and why shouldn't he? The odds of him dying on this simple walk through the park to read a book or two dropped down to almost nil without Alex in the picture. The girls were getting along famously, and I suspect that Willie is a bit of a ladies man anyway.

Zoey smiling with Willie

Watching little girls play is SO different from watching little boys play. For the most part it's pretty mellow, and fairly cerebral. Willie's certainly not the only one who appreciates it. Dad loves it too. The notion of crazy little freakshow boys running wild across their father's trampled will to live frightens the bejeepers out of me still. Girls are easy, and sure, they probably get harder to manage but at least I'll have had an apprenticeship before then. For now...I'll take the ease of toddler girlfriends and their oh-so gentle ways of making friends without killing one another.

Girlfriends - Zoey and Katia

The morning fell away fast, at least for us, maybe not so much for Willie, who surely suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder now. When all was said and done, the girls had fun, Katia had to go home, we set Willie on his way up into a nearby tree, and Zoey made a new friend, Zadie, and they quickly proceeded to eat each others lunches and not only share but feed one another. Girls...the most pleasantly confusing creatures ever.


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