I spoke to my niece yesterday. She told me how her ‘heart just broke’ when a black bug that she had tried to revive had died. She thought that it might have died because of the ‘moisture’ she had sprinkled on the leaves in the cardboard box in which she had housed it. She explained that the bug’s legs had been broken when she’d found it. She had found another bug as well, this one was orange, and although it was already dead when she discovered it, she was looking after it too. I told her about the spider outside my back door. She expressed concern that my spider might eat her orange bug.
She told me that another child at Kid’s Church had called her ‘pathetic’. ‘Oh’, I said, ‘That’s not very nice’. I asked her what she’d said in response. She hadn’t said anything. Later, she’d asked her mother what it meant. Before her mother had told her the meaning of ‘pathetic’, she’d made sure that Hannah knew it wasn’t true. I agreed. ‘You’re lovely’, I said.
I know all about her best friend, E, who cried when Hannah was away from prep for two days because she was sick. On the third day, E ran up to Hannah in the schoolyard and gave her a big hug, with tears in her eyes. E has a twin, J. Hannah said that J had ‘forced’ her to be her friend. She said she had agreed because she didn’t want J to be angry with her any more. Several play dates have ensued.
I learnt about the Ponty Pines, who are creatures on a television show called The Night Garden. The Ponty Pines make a sound a bit like that made when blowing raspberries. She sang me a song about a coffee percolator. Then I heard all about a fictional character called Bill who says nothing but ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’. And finally, she wanted to know what my favourite butterfly was from at least two years ago now, when butterflies had landed on us in the butterfly house at the Melbourne Zoo.