Tuesday, 15 March 2005


It's obvious everybody likes the worm stories. But the comment "Oh how you deserve a worm-free trip to Ireland" made me giggle, as it reminded me of a caterpillar story...

Many moons ago before I left Ireland to live in Namibia for a while, my family had a sort of last supper on the eve of my departure. You can tell it was a long time ago, because fresh soup in a carton was a new and exciting thing.

My mother emptied the carton of 'Spring Vegetable' soup into a saucepan. Plop! Right on top was a giant hairy caterpillar.

We had a lengthy conversation about whether it was better or worse to find a whole caterpillar, whether it indicated the vegetables had been pesticide free and therefore better for us, and so on.

But we didn't eat the soup. We stuck Caterpillar on a piece of card and I left my mother to send it off to The Soup Factory with a letter of complaint.

As a family we have a very high success rate of Getting Lots of Stuff for Free - we find a lot of weird things in our foodstuffs.

Anyway, I arrive in Namibia. I am tired after the long flight, but decide to spend my first evening there in a Traditional African Restaurant. The kind of restaurant where they don't rush to put bread on the table upon your arrival. Oh no. Instead you get a large basket of mopane worms. Which are of course, big hairy caterpillars.