Anaya was darting around the yard yesterday afternoon when she stopped suddenly and reached her finger out into the air. "Mommy," she shouted, "I just found an inchworm!"
Beaming, she brought it to me to examine. "It was hanging on a string in the air! I found it!" I braced for the next natural announcement. "I'm going to keep it as a pet!"
I watched the pale green critter inch cautiously along her hand and tried to think of a good excuse to return it to Mother Nature's tender care. "But it might not be happy. Don't you think it will miss its family? Don't you think it will get hungry?" But it was too late. "Finally I have a pet!" she exulted. Before I knew it we were punching holes in the top of a plastic container and filling it with leaves.
Great. I hate having "pets." I can never seem to remember to make sure they are not languishing in some corner dying of thirst--until I smell them. But this one had no such privilege.
"Mommy!" Anaya called to me at 9:30 last night from her bedroom.
"What?" I responded, coming to her door.
She sat up in bed. "I forgot. My inchworm got out. I took the leaf out of its house and the inchworm was on it. It's in the playroom somewhere."
"Anaya! That's terrible! What if I step on it?"
She pondered a moment. "I think I can find another one."