In between begging for a puppy, Princess acquires critters to name, love, and subsequently murder, complete with fleeting remorse. At first, I was alarmed at the death toll, then complacent that, at least she was off her puppy rants, now concerned for the millions of threatened species.
You see, Princess puts her complete effort into everything she tackles. If she is working on a birthday card, it will not be given until every square inch is covered in marker, glitter or stickers. If she is making a snack, she will not quit scooping until all food groups are represented. Heavily. All in one bowl. If she joins cheerleading, she will not quit practicing until each song and move is perfected, even if it means cheering in class, in bed, in line at the grocery store. Luckily, her cuteness allows her to get away with more than your average child.
Naturally, she attacks pet acquisition with the same fervor. She started with a frog on her fifth birthday. She loved this froggy. Loved him so much, she played with him constantly. They even played games, like hide-and-seek. Froggy was good at hide-and-seek, and soon, Princess forgot they were playing. Froggy did not. He leaped and leaped and leaped, out of the bedroom, and down the hall, probably wishing we had a teeny drinking fountain installed along the way. Alas, we had not had the plumber over, as froggy had only been with us a mere 20 hours. So froggy stayed hidden. The next day, we found him. He was such a good hider, he had transformed into a dried-out hunk of stinkiness. Very committed to hiding, he was.
Then we moved down the pet ladder to bugs. Anything Princess could catch. Butterflies, caterpillars, bees, flies, spiders. Rolly-pollies, beetles, wasps, ladybugs, crickets. Anything with an exoskeleton. There was Marsellene, Scott, Roger, Wiggles, Betina, Buggy, Crawly, and Mike. We have lost track of all the critters we have brought into our family, and, just as quickly, extinguished.
On a particular camping trip this past summer, the California Coastal frog population went from "vulnerable" to "critically endangered", in their Aquafina death camps. Each death took a tiny piece of Princess's hearth with it, but, being the committed-to-the-process person she is, she blasted through the five stages of grief quick enough to grab the next frog that hopped by. She would then begin the arduous process of naming her new best friend, and would set out to create a vast expanse of intricate habitats, complete with tight-fitting lid.
At first, a friend asked why would I allow her to systematically wipe of small eco-systems of critters up and down the Western Coast. I would respond, "Anything that keeps dog poop off my carpet is fine by me".
But now, I have heard that October is Princess Awareness Month, and they even have a slogan and a ribbon:
Would a puppy be worth the ending of the senseless violence????