Tyler found a roly-poly. One of those little black bugs that curls up into a ball.
He found it as we were walking up the sidewalk to deposit Tucker in the line of kindergarten students. Incidentally, it wasn't a nature walk. And yet there we were, caught up in investigation. Some of us are better at stopping to smell the roses and hold the bugs. One of us has to watch the clock.
He let it crawl all over his hands as he tinkered along the sidewalk.
"Can I keep it?"
"No, buddy, you need to let it go before we get in the car."
"Because he lives in the grass. You can't take him from his home."
"Well, I did that once. When I was four years old, I caught a caterpillar. A thick, black fuzzy one. I put him in a bowl with a couple of leaves and some grass, and I watched him all the time. He crawled all around, until he didn't anymore. He curled up at the bottom of the bowl, and he wouldn't try anymore. Poppa told me the caterpillar had seen all he could see in the bowl, and he had learned everything he could learn. I kept him until he was sad to be mine, and then I needed to let him go. He belonged some place bigger."
"But I want to see a black, fuzzy caterpillar."
"Sorry, kiddo. They don't live where we are. They're back east with the lightning bugs."
"Tell it again."