Insect Life Cycles – Puppet Show

Frequent Flyers

Characters: Grasshopper Egg (under grass plant), Grasshopper Nymph, Grasshopper Adult, Monarch Egg (on leaf), Monarch Caterpillar, Monarch Chrysalis, Monarch Butterfly.

Props:  small pompoms  to glue onto egg puppets, “Weeks Later” sign, “Days Later” sign.

Grasshopper Egg  Oh me, oh my. I’m just a tiny egg down under the soil. I’m ready for a change.

Monarch Egg  I’m just a tiny egg, here under this leaf. I’m ready for a change, too.

Grasshopper Egg  I wonder what I’ll be when I hatch. Maybe a buzzy bee, or a dragonfly.

Monarch Egg  Maybe a Junebug or a firefly.

Grasshopper Egg  What I really want to be is a grasshopper, with long back legs for hopping and wings I can unfurl for flying.

Monarch Egg  What I really want to be is a butterfly with great big black and orange wings.

Grasshopper Egg  But maybe you’ll be a grasshopper and I’ll be a butterfly!

Monarch Egg  Well, I hope not. Wait, something’s happening to me! Oh my! I think I’m changing! (exits, return as Caterpillar) Wow! Look at me! I’m a…I don’t know what I am. I’m not a butterfly or a grasshopper.

Grasshopper Egg You’re a caterpillar – a larva! I think caterpillars are nice. You’ve got stripes and those funny feelers and stumpy legs. At least you’re not an egg anymore.

Caterpillar  You’re right. I should be happy. It’s just that I wanted wings.

Grasshopper Egg  Oh my! I think I’m changing too! I’m hatching out of my egg. What will I be? (exits, return as grasshopper nymph) Look at me now!

Caterpillar  You look like a little grasshopper.

Grasshopper Nymph  Hurray! That’s what I wanted to be.

Caterpillar  Only you don’t have any wings – just these little wing buds.

Grasshopper Nymph  Oh, too bad. I guess I’m not a grasshopper. Real grasshoppers have nice, long wings for flying.

Caterpillar  Maybe you’re a nymph, that’s a young grasshopper. Maybe someday you’ll change into an adult grasshopper with wings.

Grasshopper Nymph  Humph, I’m just a nymph! Well, maybe if I eat a lot, these wing buds will grow into real wings! I’m going to look for some tasty grass leaves to eat.

Caterpillar  Eating sounds like a good idea  to me. I’m a very hungry caterpillar. I could eat this whole leaf! Then maybe I’ll grow some wings too.

Hold up sign saying, “Weeks Later.”

Grasshopper Nymph  I’ve been eating and eating, but I still don’t have any wings. I wonder if that caterpillar ever grew wings. Now what’s this funny hanging pouch?

Chrysalis  Shhhh. I’m changing form.

Grasshopper Nymph  Huh? What in the world are you?

Chrysalis  I’m a chrysalis, a kind of pupa. I used to be a caterpillar. Remember me?

Grasshopper Nymph  But you don’t look anything like the caterpillar I once knew!

Chrysalis  No, but I’m still me. I’m in here, resting and changing, (whispering) resting and changing. (exits)

Grasshopper Nymph  Wow, that caterpillar sure changed a lot. I’m glad I didn’t turn into a pupa, all cramped in a little case. But I still wish I had wings. (exits)

Hold up sign saying, “Days Later.”

Monarch Butterfly  Hello there, Grasshopper Nymph. Remember me?

Grasshopper Nymph  Have we met before?

Butterfly  Sure we have. We were tiny eggs, and then I became a caterpillar, then a chrysalis, and now I’m a butterfly.

Grasshopper Nymph  You mean it’s you?! You’ve got big black and orange wings – just what you wanted!

Butterfly  Yes, aren’t they grand? How about you?

Grasshopper Nymph (sadly) No, I just keep growing a little, and shedding my skin, and then growing a little more, but I’m still a grasshopper nymph without any wings.

Butterfly  That’s too bad. It’s really great being able to fly. (flies around)

Grasshopper Nymph  You’re lucky. I felt sorry for you when you were inside that pupa case, but now I feel sorry for me!

Butterfly  Me too. Maybe if you eat more?

Grasshopper Nymph  No, I’m just not hungry. I feel like…oh great, I’m shedding my skin again. (exits, adult grasshopper enters) Here I am again, same old me.

Butterfly  Wait a minute. You look different. You’re bigger, and what are these things on your back? They look like wings!

Grasshopper  Wings? Really? Wow! I have wings?  Let’s see if they work. I’ll just take a hop…(hops and then flies around). Wow! I’m flying! I’ve got my wings at last!

Butterfly  Hurray! We can both fly! We insects are lucky to go through metamorphosis.

Grasshopper  Metamorphosis?

Butterfly  It means change in form. I went through complete metamorphosis with four completely different stages – egg, larva, pupa, and adult. But you grasshoppers go through simple metamorphosis…

Grasshopper With only three stages – egg, nymph, adult! We sure had different lives! So, what do we do now that we have wings?

Butterfly  Why, we can fly to new places, fly away from predators, fly off to find mates and start the next generation.

Grasshopper We can be frequent flyers!

Butterfly  You bet! Ready for takeoff?

Grasshopper  Up, up, and away! (both exit)

The End


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