The caterpillars are caterpillars no longer.
They are now all safely* encased in their chrysalides and undergoing the long, disturbing process of transformation.
We took them out of the pot they came in yesterday and hung them up in the butterfly house in Ellie's bedroom where she can see them every morning as soon as she gets up.
One particularly big one unfortunately came adrift just as he was starting his chrysalis and wound up tangled in silk on the floor.
He finished the chrysalis at ground level, though, so we've put him on a piece of tissue on the floor of the butterfly house and will just have to hope he survives.
We'll keep our eyes on them, and I'll keep you updated (I bet you can't wait) but even in this sudden heatwave they should be in there for a couple of weeks.
Fortunately we seem to have defeated the pox and our quarantine is officially up, so we can get out there and find something else to occupy ourselves in the interim.
Meanwhile, Ellie's creativity seems to be finding more substantial form lately: her pictures tend to look like actual things, rather than the arcane works of earlier days, and she has started composing stories and songs.
The following, predictably caterpillar themed, is fairly typical:
How are you little caterpillars?
Turning into butterflies.
Clap your hands three times
And wriggle in your cocoons
And turn into butterflies.
She also told me a long story about Thor, who hit a bad horse** with his hammer (but it was alright, the horse wasn't killed) then some bad people came and he hit them with his hammer, then he went off into the woods (and, presumably, hit things with his hammer).
Eleanor likes Thor.
* Where safe means: "within reach of two cats, at least one of them an evil genius"
** If this doesn't instantly put the Bad Horse song into your head then I recommend http://drhorrible.com/ . But not when there are kids around.