What you need to know about Eleanor, if you don’t already, is that she loves animals more than almost anyone. Now I KNOW all kids love animals, and I KNOW parents exaggerate about the way their kids are special. And still, I feel pretty confident that my kid loves animals more than most animal lovers. Exhibit A: she cannot walk to school on a rainy day without removing ALL the worms from the sidewalk. We had to build in an extra 20 minutes to get her to school on rainy days.
Exhibit B: the following story.
Josh and I had decided that the kids would stay at my parents’ lakehouse for a week in the summer while I was working and Josh was in med school. Being the curious child that she is, Eleanor said to my mom one day, in the kitchen, “What are these little plastic things?”
Mom replied, “Those are ant hotels.”
Eleanor was intrigued. “Wow. How do they get the food in there?”
Mom decided to keep it literal. “Well, it’s really poison.”
“THE ANTS DIE?!?! They never come out?”
“Yes. That’s correct.”
“I don’t believe in killing animals.”
“I believe in killing ants, and that’s how it goes in this house.”
Eleanor walked away. The next morning when my mom came down to make breakfast, she asked Eleanor, “Um, have you done something with the ant traps?”
“I gave the ants a proper burial.”