Oh, cruel world. I’ve had my fair share of hard questions to answer these last several weeks. I have explained hurricane preparedness, why Barbie should not have been made to do a strip-tease at show-and-share, how the Tooth Fairy could have left such a large kiss-imprint on her note when she is so teeny-tiny, and why Nora Ruth cannot marry her little brother even though he is “soooo haaaaandsome”. I’m beginning to feel a little shell-shocked by all of these questions and ponderous conversations and my only defense is to 1) count to ten before I answer and if they don’t move on then there is 2) the Socratic method “sweep”.
Well, tonight the inevitable happened and I found myself trying to explain the finer points of the food-chain. On the way out to the pool, the girls fed a couple of stray chickens and while the chickens were pecking around for extra crumbs, Spice, our beloved neighborhood dog, rid the world of another noisy rooster. Allie was closest to the carnage, standing on a tire swing as Spice trotted by with his snack and Nora Ruth was in the pool but was out quick as a flash to “go get” the rooster. It was not easy to rein her in and it took some hugs and consoling as we explained that it was too late. There is one rooster in particular that eats from Nora Ruth’s hand and we had to reassure her that he was safe in Mr. Ernesto’s yard.
Alliene wanted to know what Spice was going to do with the rooster but the perplexed look on her face told me that she already knew and was just asking for confirmation. I don’t think I had gotten all of the way to 10 before she asked me, “Is he gonna, like, chew on it?” and when I replied that, yes, Spice eats chickens and he must be hungry, she whimpered “but I don’t want Spicey to eat that rooster,” followed by, “we give Spicey lots of bones and stuff and he doesn’t need to eat any roosters.” She is referring to the milkbone treats that we feed to Spice when we see him, which is only occasionally.
So, post-chicken murder, here’s what we do know: we eat chicken, we buy our chicken from the grocery store, Spice isn’t allowed in the grocery store. More facts: Allie wouldn’t mind if Spice ate an Iguana, if a chicken ate a bug, or if an Iguana ate a bug. And finally: Nora Ruth had no problem destroying her chicken spaghetti tonight and asking for seconds while Alliene took a pass.