As they stood in the back yard, conversing about this and that, that and this, they noticed that there were several large vultures congregating around our creek. So, they walked down to investigate. And there, laying on the side of the bank was a dead opossum.
The deceased marsupial was situated on our property line, on this side of the creek. Because our children have been spending almost every waking moment of their days, outside of school, at the creek, Charlie thought it would be best to move it to the other side of the creek. So he trekked off to find himself a shovel. In the time that he walked away and came back to do some relocating, he discovered that our children were inspecting the dead animal WITH THEIR HANDS. William was touching it's swollen abdomen apparently trying to feel if there were any babies inside, while Carolyn and Elizabeth had cranked it's mouth open and were looking at it's sharp teeth.
My husband went totally berserk. He insisted all of the kids come up to the house where he gave them warm bubble baths, spiked with a cap full of bleach. Now the hilarity in all of this derives from the fact that I wasn't home. I'm sure if I had been here, and saw my children touching a swollen rigor mortis opossum who had hollow eye sockets, thanks to the lurking bald headed vultures, I'd still be dry heaving.
Tonight, I queried our children (who recall, are afraid of stink bugs) what provoked them to pick up a dead animal. All three of them looked at me, and then at each other, mentally calibrating their response, before they replied, "Uh? We didn't mean to?"
They let that set with me for a moment, before William nodded convincingly, "Yep. I think it was an accident..."
Charlie, with the mental image of this seared in to his mind, is cringing. But I'm choking back laughter as I say, "Oh, right! A dead opossum just falls in to your hands ... by mistake! Don't worry, children!"
"I'm sure it happens ALL the time."
My little people were born six and a half years ago, today.
I never imagined the love, laughter, joy ... and grossness these tiny three-pound miracles would bring to our lives. Not a day goes by that I don't think about how incredibly thankful I am that they are here. As for my husband, tonight he is incredibly thankful for bubble baths.