Contributed by George Kittell
A butterfly would place an egg
On the underside of a leaf,
And for 5 days it hung head down
And then a new worm ate its sheath.
And for 2 days it dined on frond
And then it spread a silken mat,
To which this worm became attached,
Then left its sloughed off skin on that.
Then next it ate this just shed skin,
But soon was menaced by a bug,
So dropped down on a rope of silk
To circumvent this parlous thug.
Again it spread a gooey mat
To which its tightened skin would stick
And crawled out of this 2nd cape –
A meal which it would digest quick.
For 2 more days it chomped on leaves
But then was threatened by some ants,
So dropped within a compact ball
Among the lower lying plants.
Then 2 more times it shed its skin,
A dozen days this larva grew,
But aft the latest larval molt
It left to find someplace anew.
It wandered maybe 30 yards
And climbed a chestnut bush, quite young,
And spread a sticky silken mat
And by its hind legs there it hung.
A dozen days it hung head down,
Then changed in color, green to black,
And come the morning, half-past dawn,
There came an unperceptive crack!
The gut rotated high to low ‒
Was full of body building blood;
Its head now up and wings enfold,
Expanding per the juices flood.
In several minutes grew full size
Then several hours till it’s dry;
Its pupal waste is then expelled
And then this newborn butterflies.