Damien’s the type of child who brings home snakes, frogs, spiders, birds, you name it. The frogs croak in his hands! The snakes are always so relaxed it’s unbelievable. And all he does is study them a little, and let them go.
We came home last Friday and they were cutting down three of the trees that front our block of flats. Damien was horrified- so was I, but since we rent it didn’t even occur to me to try and do something. Damien wanted me to contact our landlady, or someone, and put a stop to it. “What about the birds and the spiders?” he said, “Why are they doing this?” he said. He was really upset. Frankly I think it’s so that the old biddies on the ground floor can get some sun- but that doesn’t mean I agree with it- I don’t like trees being cut down, ever. But Damien was really miserable (and to top it all, with the trees gone we have no privacy now either). Damien has always loved animals. He wants to be a marine biologist- has since he was knee high to a grasshopper. His interest borders on obsession- like fetching cat sharks out from under the sand in the tidal pool so he can return them to the sea! I’ll never forget that little incident. We were on holiday at the coast- walking on the tidal pool wall ‘coz it was still a little too cold to swim just then. Then Damien spotted something under the sand at the bottom of the pool. He put on his goggles and went to investigate. He came up with a beautiful 50cm long banded cat shark in both hands. He then proceeded to examine it- determined it was a female, unwound some fishing line from the right front pectoral fin, let her go to swim in circles around him, and when he decided she was okay, he proceeded to pick her up, hand her to me, climb over the wall of the tidal pool and put her back in the sea “There’s nothing to eat for her in the tidal pool, mom.” All of this to exclamations and picture taking by the other people on the wall* and him posing in the water with the shark in his hands like he did this every day. The rest of the day I could hear the people around me talking about the shark in the tidal pool and the kid who took the shark out of the tidal pool! I just kept quiet of course. Rather let Damien seem like a hero to strangers than explain she was harmless* I wonder if anyone could tell I was gloating?
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.