The Very Hairy Caterpillar

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf.

One Sunday morning, the warm sun came up and – pop! – out of the egg came a tiny, and very hairy caterpillar.

He started to look for his crew.

On Monday, he shed some hair as he climbed an oak tree in Lainzer Tiergarten, but he was still hairy.

On Tuesday, he shed some hair as he spun a silk nest on an oak branch with many of his new friends, but he was still hairy.

On Wednesday, he shed some hair as he ventured higher into the oak tree to eat leaves, but he was still hairy.

On Thursday, he shed some hair as he walked in a straight line with his friends through the forest, but he was still hairy.

On Friday, he shed some hair as he counted thousands and thousands of their own wispy white bristles, but he was still hairy.

On Saturday, he shed some hair as

an unsuspecting family exploring Lainzer Tiergarten walked by,

who then went home none the wiser,

who then itched and scratched all night long in their sleep,

who then woke up the next morning covered in fiery red spots,

who then texted a bunch of moms and friends in all caps asking WHAT IS THIS,

who then heard from a doctor who asked if we had been around caterpillars,


who then learned about a toxic creature called the Oak Processionary Moth that lives in oak forests and has tens of thousands of hairs that float in the air and along the ground and can cause ‘caterpillar dermatitis’ when it touches skin,

who then stress-texted a friend to find an open pharmacy and ask for CATERPILLAR MEDICINE OF ALL THINGS BECAUSE WHO KNEW,

who then threw everything her family slept in and touched and wore into the washer to boil the living daylights out of said toxic caterpillar hair and drenched her family in said caterpillar medicine (I MEAN REALLY).

That morning, they were miserable!

On Sunday, the caterpillar shed his hair as ate one nice oak leaf, and after that,

he felt and looked exactly the same as he did Monday through Saturday BECAUSE TOXIC CATERPILLARS DON’T HAVE FEELINGS and he probably high-fived all of his toxic caterpillar buddies for sending a youngish mom into a fit of stress right before church and forcing her to look up CATERPILLAR DERMATITIS during her morning coffee.

He built a small house called a cocoon around himself.

He stayed inside for more tha—

You know what who knows how long the Oak Processionary Moth stays inside his cocoon of poison because I am OVER HIM.

So anyway, he came out, and – pop! – he was a



toxin-carrying moth.

The End

Alternate Ending: On Monday, the angry, very itchy mama called the appropriate authorities to report a case of ‘Eichenprozessspinner’,

and after that,

she felt much better.


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