Mabelicious is in love with everything that has legs.
We live on water and this child is outside alla-time, catching and releasing who knows what. Last winter she caught a vole (fat field mouse-like thing) with her winter gloves ON, thankfully. That capture didn't end well because, "he was fine until Trevor tripped me and I fell on him. And then his eyeball popped out. Then I had to bury him, Mom." Ahem. Poor vole.
This past spring, Canadian geese families brought their babies to our lake for bathing. At one point I counted 15 goose families plowing through our yard. In case you're not sure how many goslings a mama and papa goose put out, it's about 10. So if you're keeping track, that means 150 geese were flopping their little flappy, black feet through the grass, which incidentally does NOT make daddy happy. But the goslings are to die for darling, all fuzzy and ugly! Mabel just adores them. She named about fifty.
One spring day she noticed one wandering down the street alone, just quacking for his mama. Sadly, there was no mama to be found. So Mabel immediately checked for cars and rescued him. "I saved his life, Mom! He was going to be squarshed!" Trevor was afraid she'd pop his eyeball out, but she was very gentle and soothing. She patted him on the head and kissed his little fuzzy face eleventy times. He quacked for his mama and she helped him look for her. She invited him inside to take a bath with her forever, too. Eventually, Trevor and Andy convinced her to release him into the lake, which she did. But she watched for him out the window constantly.
She rescued a bird that fell from a tree while at her dad's over the summer.
And I think I've lost count of how many grasshoppers and frogs she's caught at the house since they've been back. Maybe close to 100. Seriously. She's fearless.
And the thing is? They're not afraid of her either. This little grasshopper stayed stuck to her hand for a very long time. She gave him a ride up and down the sidewalk on her bike.
There will be a snake soon, you watch. Can't live next to cornfields AND be on water and not see some slithery things every now and then. Until then, the bugs keep her occupied.
Caterpillars are fun, too.
I'm certain she's pulled legs off just to see what happens, to see if they are like a worm and regenerate (um... they're not). We've talked about being kind to God's creatures, even the creepy crawly ones. Leaving the legs on and washing hands and 'please don't pick up snakes'. But she's so curious.
While Aunt Gretchen was over last week, Mabel was talking about Allie in Heaven. And seconds later, she reached out and caught a monarch butterfly with one hand, and then carefully handed it to Aunt Gretchen. It was like Allie herself appeared. So touching and sweet.
Still loves horses. And the cats, of course. Neighbor Dave's dogs - she goes to his house to feed them with him almost every day. She just wants to take care of everything she can. Now with the bugs. There are daily grasshoppers up in my house. I'm okay with it, so long as she releases her critters and washes her hands.
Maybe she'll be a veterinarian or an etymologist. Or a dentist. Who knows? But I think her heart and curiosity would be wasted on dentistry.