For fifteen days a caterpillar feeds
on sorrel, selfheal, ragwort, mint, or privet.
If a wasp mounts it and injects its larvae,
they’ll prosper on its blood, and then gnaw through
its epidermis, fragile in the weeds.
The woolly bear will suffer trauma, outlive it,
protect the wasp cocoons, and then starve three
weeks, though surrounded by lush leaves and dew. Read more …