Livy and I caught a nice healthy lizard outside four months ago and have been feeding him juicy grasshoppers and fresh water in his awesome aquarium in Livy's room since. We've watched in rapt fascination as he stalked each grasshopper and pounced with perfection each time, grasping each prey in his mouth. After each lunch, Livy pronounced that Mr. Lizard was fat (distended belly) and happy. She smiled and chatted with Mr. Lizard each time. ("There you go, Mr. Lizard. That was a big green grasshopper for you.") Mr. Lizard had grown accustomed to our approach and seldom moved, seemingly anticipating our fresh meal.
Mr. Lizard died today, and my darling Livy cried her eyes out. I patted her and held her and my eyes got watery.
As a parent, we know these sad days must inevitably come, but it does not lessen the heartbreak for our child, who learns first-hand what death means when you get close to a living creature that you've watched and talked to for quite some time.
She wants Mr. Lizard taken home (outside) for his final resting place.
And he will be.