Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Silkworm fanaticism

I've been trying to find out if it is all right to send silkworm eggs to the United States - and a few weeks ago tried to phone the American Embassy to find out. Unfortunately there was only a recorded message, but it was one of those warm voices, slightly unsure, pausing over the instructions of urns and ashes, sounding a little sad and sensitive when he explained that no one would want to open them - so I left my message about silkworm eggs and my number, but so far he hasn't rung back. As far as I can see it should be okay, and I'm thinking maybe I'll risk it.

The person I want to send them to is a fellow silkworm fanatic and a nanny. She liked to teach pre-schoolers about silkworms and I think that is an excellent idea. There is so much to learn and think about with a silkworm. James the first of England used to like to keep a few silkworms with him at all times just so he could look at them. The Chinese treat them with respect. There must be no loud noises, no bad smells, no meat, no arguing or shouting - even the presence of a pregnant woman was thought to disturb them. One of the world's oldest men kept silkworms. I think this is because he lived a tranquil life.

Now that the moths have all died again, I'm looking longingly at the eggs, wondering if I should warm a few of them warm and hatch. I am beginning to miss them.


Blogger Kay Cooke said...

You are hooked on silkworms Clare - you may just have to feed your incurable habit! What a beautiful thing to do for your friend. We had a caterpillar at work (you might remember I blogged about it a little.) And it is something quite magical for the children (and teachers / carers) to witness the process. In the case of silkworms you at least see the whole cycle, whereas with the monarchs we had to leave it at the butterfly fluttering away over the neighbour's fence.

Wed May 13, 01:39:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Yes, Kay, that is the good thing about the Bombyx mori - it is as fully domesticated as a poodle. Your Monarchs, although more beautiful, are as wolves in comparison.

Wed May 13, 12:27:00 pm  
Blogger jem said...

You might want to check the Royal Mail website, the airmail section, there might be info about anything that they prohibit sending.

Did I mention that my parnter found a chrysalis while gardening, a different one from the one that ate my acer. This one was shiny and dark brown and still moving a bit. We tucked it in a hole in the wall, so no-one would eat it, and as at now it's still there.

Wed May 13, 12:30:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you Jem - great idea, I'll take a look now.

That is very interesting about the chrysalis - I wonder what it will turn out to be - if you get the chance to see it emerging.

Wed May 13, 12:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Mary said...

Hi, Clare - Along with checking on postal regulations there, you may want to check on them here. There are all kinds of restrictions on what can and can't be sent here, especially on animals. Don't know about insects. The U.S. Postal Service website is here: http://www.usps.com/

Wed May 13, 11:47:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Thank you Mary! I'll do that.

Fri May 15, 07:24:00 am  

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