They will make frass. Loads and loads of it. Unbelievable quantities of it. You will mutter to yourself, How can three little caterpillars possibly produce so much frass? You will have to clear it out, every single day.*
And you will have to feed them, from the herbs you were intending for another purpose, every single day. You will grumble, How can three little caterpillars possibly eat so much? And why do I feed them, when it just turns into frass that I must then clean?
Then, without regard for your science lesson schedule, the little buggers will pupate overnight, so you can’t even watch them do it. You will wake up and discover these brownish dull things taking up space on your counter, completely insensible to your careful plans, to say nothing of your preferred décor. At least they’re not frassing everything up anymore, but neither are they making much of a positive contribution to the household economy. How long can this go on?
But then—oh! A crack in the chrysalis—the wiggle of a wet wing!
You will hold your breath at the glimpse of a miracle in the making.
In the blink of an eye, the frass is forgotten, as improbably metamorphed beauty takes flight.
*On the bright side, frass is neither stinky nor goopy. In fact, I’ve read that it actually tastes like what the caterpillars eat, in which case our caterpillars’ frass would have been parsley-flavored. We decided not to test that particular factoid, so do let me know, intrepid readers, if you verify that.