Paw-Paw's Spousal Abuse Prevention Program

Nearly every night, just before bed time we all head out to the bench on the front porch and take a few minutes to hear the crickets, smell a storm coming in, or feel a cool breeze on our cheeks before reading a story and tucking Jack in for the night. Last night, while swinging his legs from the bench and enjoying a final graham cracker or two, Jack spotted three tiny slugs coming up through a crack on the porch.
We all became very interested in their unhurried travels and Jack must have asked a million questions about them.
His last question, "I touch 'em?" was met with a “no” and followed up with a few slug stories.
Everyone has a slug story.
Once, I accidentally stepped on one barefoot and it was one of the grossest things I've ever done.
Paw-Paw regaled us with a classic slug-torture tale involving salt. He said he had seen someone do it and it was horrible.
This led to the discussion of why children, particularly boys torture animals and why some parents don't do much to halt the destruction of the smaller animals like frogs, slugs and turtles because it must not seem to be a big enough deal to them.
But even those tiny amphibians or reptiles or whatever slugs are, are a big deal.
Our household subscribes to the “peace for all creatures” philosophy.

But Paw-Paw's reasoning really put it best:
"Don't let him hurt a slug.
Because first it's slugs.
Then cats.
Then your wife."


Sylvie said…
LOL! Greg is a philosopher. And I agree with the concept. Are you ready for another Christopher story? Once when he was about six, he and a bigger boy were throwing a football back and forth in the yard. I had gone inside and after about 10 minutes Chris came inside and sat on the couch. Did not turn on TV or say a word. I said something like "Did Tony leave?" and he shook his head yes without looking at me. Sensing that all was not perfect in Chris land, I went over and sat beside him and said, "Did something happen?" He turned these huge eyes on me and tears began to flow down his cheeks. It seems he had spotted a squirrel in a nearby tree and when he pointed it out to Tony, that boy had turned and thrown the football as hard as he could at the squirrel, and actually hit it and knocked it to the ground. Then he went over to the stunned squirrel and stomped it to death. My horrified and heartbroken little boy hollered out, "Stop!" and then, "Why did you do that?" Whereupon Tony laughed and said, "What's the matter little girl, are you gonna cry?" Or words to that effect--don't remember the exact quotation. So we had to have the talk about how some people have not been taught that animals have feelings and don't realize that they can suffer, etc., etc., and how also there are just some mean people who enjoy inflicting pain and that we try to stay away from these people and would never want to be like them. And how much I admired him for being such a man as to speak up to that mean boy. We had a rough 30 minutes because Chris had really admired Tony. I was nervous because I didn't want to make a sissy out of my child. In the following years, criminal science, and Greg, have back up my opinion! ;) Sorry such a long story. I have more but one example is enough for today!
Houpley said…
my word! that story is heart-wrenching. we're going to need a follow-up. did you talk with the parents? did that kid end up in jail? wow. i think you handled it perfectly, by the way.

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