A treatise on the phenomenon of silkworms. These creepy crawlies form the longest lasting true underground currency in schools across the country. You can’t purchase silkworms at pet stores, silkworms are handed down from schoolboy to schoolboy in clandestine playground negotiations. Hence the shoebox currently in my kitchen.

As an adult I cannot understand my childhood fascination with these most tedious of pets. Nonetheless I recently found myself responsible for the well being and continued existence of twenty odd worms housed in an old shoebox. I wonder if my parents chose the houses in which we lived based on their inclusion of a mulberry tree on the premises. I think I shall add it to my house hunting wishlist.

Currently I leap from my car in the middle of rush hour traffic to madly attack Mulberry trees that border on highways, byways and in other people’s gardens. I have denuded my neighbour’s Mulberry tree, probably planted for the express reason of feeding silkworms’ voracious appetites.

Now I have become a nighttime Mulberry tree raider. Passersby watched me puzzled. Neighbourhood security guards have graduated from watching me with suspicion to outright amusement.

Now I stand and stare hopelessly at a box filled with moths and about 10 million eggs. Perhaps they have a high infant mortality rate? Otherwise silkworms look set to take over the world. Google is filled with comments from anxious parents on how to rid their homes and gardens of the silkworm invasion. I vaguely remember when I finally bored of mine, setting them free on our Mulberry tree. This is apparently NOT a good thing to do. Now you know.

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