Thursday, December 4, 2008

Cajun Thing of the Week #11 - Schnille

This week's Cajun Thing of the Week is...

schnille [shnee]

A schnille is what we Cajun folk call a fuzzy, stinging caterpillar.

When I was a kid, the yards and trees were often plagued with these caterpillars in the Spring. The legions of fuzzy, horned beings were fascinating, yet scary.

We don't see many schnilles any more. I often wonder if the little guys were killed off by the pesticides from the mosquito control trucks in the area.

5 red beans:

nan said...

Funny, I never had a word for those except "stinging caterpillars".

We didn't have many around our house, but they were EVERYWHERE in Franklin when we visited my grandparents there. I can't tell you how many I stepped on as a child, but it was a LOT! Lots of tears were shed over the pain of those suckers.

Chef E said...

I grew up in Texas and Nawlen's(grandparents and mom from there), we saw those, but I never played with any bugs...and I was a tomboy, so I guess I never got stung or do not remember...we played with crawfish (bugs), and then used them to catch the bigger fish.

Make a Roux said...

@nan OUCH! I think I got stung once by one that was hiding in the grass. That's how I got stung by many a bee, as well! I never learned my lesson, though. It was just too much fun running through the clover barefoot! :)

@Chef E Hi! So nice to see another Texan/Louisianian here! :) I was totally into catching bugs, especially from my Papere's garden! But, I was scared of the schnilles! BTW, I loved catching crawfish!

foodvox said...

Schnille, huh? That's a fancy name for a little critter like that.

I don't remember them from my own childhood but one day (in Michigan of all places) out on the deck of the house there was a big overhanging tree and one of those fuzzy caterpillars dropped off a leaf right in front of my son (who was then about three and a half years old). He picked it up to play with it and I tried to take it away from him.

He didn't like that idea so (as little boys will do) he decided to protect it from me by sticking it down his pants.

Oh yes. He had a surprise when it bit him.

He was outraged. After all, he'd just been trying to keep it for a pet.

Make a Roux said...

@foodvox Oh my goodness! I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that story. Must've hurt something awful!

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