Don't Eat the Caterpillar

Don't Eat the Caterpillar | sarahesh.com
Photo by Kate

We've eaten a few exotic things, Herm and I. We both traveled a good bit, and both lived abroad for different lengths of time before we met each other. And we tend to be adventurous when it comes to trying new things, so it should come as no surprise, the dog meat, chicken feet, rice wine, and goat brain.
I believe that until you actually try something, you shouldn't say you don't like it. The flavor and texture of a few of the things mentioned above really wasn't that bad. Honestly.
Have you ever read the children's book, A Very Hungry Caterpillar? If I were to rewrite it, I would probably title it The Very Hungry Boy Who Ate Caterpillar.
I guess Carson was feeling left out, not having experienced as many exotic dishes as us. I am assuming that is why he thought it would be a good idea to try caterpillar, and that if he ate it raw, not only would it be exotic, it would also be sushi.
It didn't end well for either of them, Carson or the caterpillar.
Laundry this morning was a slow go. Getting it started later than normal, after having slept in, didn't help. Neither did the few errands I had to run in town. By 11:30 am, I was switching the second load of laundry to the dryer, and putting the third load into the washer. Carson was in the basement with me, however, he was exploring and not helping.
In the middle of sorting out what needs to air dry and what gets thrown into the dryer, Carson came running to me, gagging and coughing and crying. What did you eat? Short whisker-like hairs were all around the outside of his mouth and sticking to his tongue. On the concrete floor near by lay a caterpillar, who was either just a baby or had been chomped in half by toddler teeth.
I rinsed out Carson's mouth and tried to give him something to drink, but he wouldn't stop gagging and crying. My arm started to tingle, which is when I realized what was really going on. Through Google we learned a few things: that kind of caterpillar is not toxic, however, it's bristly fur does have a chemical in it which causes an itchy tingling sensation.
I didn't want to overreact, nor did I want to under-react, so while Herm comforted Carson, I called my mom and asked her if I ever ate a caterpillar. I didn't. But she gave a few helpful ideas, such as ice cream to sooth his tongue, or perhaps oral-gel if ice cream didn't work. And maybe a tint roller would have enough stickiness that the bristles would adhere to it.
None of those ideas worked exactly, Carson wouldn't have anything to do with them. I found that reading Goodnight Moon and We're Going on a Bear Hunt helped get his mind off of the situation at hand. Sharp cheddar cheese also does wonders for caterpillar stings, at least that's what Carson thought.
I did call my aunt, who happens to be a nurse, to see if she ever dealt with anything like this. I didn't want to go to the emergency room, but certainly would if we needed to. She told me to watch for a rash or swelling of any sort, and to try to get him to eat something, which would hopefully remove any remaining prickly bristles.
So our afternoon consisted of reading books and playing puppy and romping outside, anything to get his mind off of caterpillar. We were watching videos on my iPhone, which was just great until we came across one from this past summer where he was playing with a centipede. When Carson saw that caterpillar like creature, he screamed and started crying again. Poor boy.
I am quite sure he won't be trying more exotic dishes of that sort in the near future.
What about you: What is the most exotic dish you tried? Was it caterpillar?


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