Set them free. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
It started one morning when George woke me with the news that he had found an interesting specimen in the garden for us. He put it in a small bucket on the dining room table, and I nearly forgot about his discovery until lunch time.
I was enthralled with this caterpillar. His color combination was a bold statement only Nature could pull off. I googled "green caterpillar with black stripes and orange dots" and quickly identified our new friend was a black swallowtail caterpillar. I was giddy with the idea of hatching such a beautiful butterfly.
We set up a habitat in a glass jar (on the dining room table of course) and kept the carrot tops coming. He proved to be an eating and pooping machine!
Then he got tired of our constant observation and the monotonous diet of carrot tops. He pined for something more exotic - perhaps fennel or parsley. After putting up with us for several days, he climbed to the top of the habitat, and walked around and around the top of his jar, seeking a way down and out.
He must have found it, for when I checked on him one last time, he was nowhere near his temporary home. Avery found him, half way across the room, inching towards the area rug in the living room. He had traveled down the jar, across the table, down the table, and across the heaviest traffic spot in our house. Thank goodness he survived unscathed!
I decided to set him free. We picked him up, experiencing firsthand the look and smell of his special scent horns, and put him back where George had found him in the garden. I've looked for him since, to no avail. I miss that little guy, and look forward to seeing him again...with wings.