My two youngest granddaughters, Marley and Makyah, came to spend
the night and they wore me out!! There are lots of great things to do
in my apartment and surrounding location.
We played at St. Mary’s Catholic school playground for awhile but
decided the deep blue color of the equipment and dark mulch made it
“too hot.” Then, we went over to check out the creek and had fun on
two of the three bridges that cross over to Ohio Wesleyan Univesity.
We ran along the edge, looking for the ducks, finally finding one solitary
duck. The four year old exclaimed,
“She’s lonely, Nana!”
This made my littlest one, say, “Alone. Why?”
This made me wonder, too. It also makes me realize how young
children are to develop empathetic thoughts and feelings. I was in
awe of this reminder. I think one of the many awesome things about
having grandchildren is just that: learning the capabilities of humane
thoughts at such an early age (or stage) in life.
That, and all the reminders of our youth and our ability to have deep
feelings. I remember cringing when the neighbor boy pulled the wings
off butterflies he caught in a butterfly net. Although it was a hobby, my
brother sometimes was pinning butterflies to his collection boards. I
thought they were beautiful and yet, wondered if they “felt” the pin
pricking them and holding them. Sometime, along the way, I did hear
of some collectors using some form of “ether” substitute that would
anaesthetize the creatures
We all have an affinity for weaker creatures in one way or another. It
may be watching the news and hearing of someone who is not good
at taking care of their animals, hoarding them or not feeding them or
giving water on a hot day.
One day, looking at the ground while he walked home from school and
spying a duckling stuck along the tracks, my son gently eased the
webbed foot out of the black tar it was stuck in.
Unfortunately, when asking someone who worked with wildlife, they
suggested washing the tar off the duck’s feet and replacing it in the
same area. Sure enough, when we walked back to the vicinity of the
location, there was mother duck wildly, loudly quacking to “call her
baby back.” My son remembers that lesson and has always being a
Recently, my son retold his own children that story. When they wanted
to save a chipmunk that one of their dogs had caught. Having to capture
it, letting it go on the other side of their privacy fence, only to hope it
would stay there!
There are many examples you may think of: the windblown nest falling
out of a tree, those precious eggs still intact. What to do? The rabbit who
has misplaced or possibly been killed, when you find the baby bunnies.
Is it okay to try to feed baby animals? The Delaware Humane Society
and when we were young, the Bay Village Nature Center, each advised,
leave the wild animals alone. Hope it will survive and possibly get
reconnected with a family member.”
Once we got finished sharing our whole wheat bread with the lone
duck, we went onto the grounds and found pinecones. Why is it that
when little ones use such a tender voice, we get all soft inside? Also,
do they do this ‘on purpose’ knowing we react this way?
“Aww, Nana, there is a baby pinecone!”
Do you think it is because we give them such beatific smiles and
loving looks while they do this? Are we making sure to reward these
I am hoping these are intrinsic values they have instinctively to feel
and care. They may hold creatures dear to their little hearts, without
any extrinsic reinforcement.
While throwing the pine cones into the water, I mentioned it was such
a shame that the walls along the creek. They need to be reinforced by
replacing the stones and placing them more firmly into the walls. There
are a few areas that have big piles of dirt toppling into the once clear
stream This seems to have reduced the wildlife that used to live here.
I dislike seeing so much mud there, as I pointed to an area. The girls’
eyes followed my finger.
When a professor or someone affiliated with OWU, stopped to admire
my precious little towheads, I said, “Thank you and they are just two of
my six grandkids that I enjoy bringing here. Did you notice this wall is
caving in here and down the creek, toot? My oldest grandson, when he
was their age, liked to feed a big flock of ducks, find turtles, spy frogs
and also, toads.
We pulled over rocks and found earthworms, saw crawdads and
would see schools of a variety of fish here.There are less signs of wildlife
The gentleman, took a moment to pause and ponder this thought. He
did a fine job of looking quite “professorial” in this moment. He replied,
“Who do you suppose is responsible, the city or the university?”
“Your guess is as good as mine! If you ever run into someone who knows
and cares, will you pass the word on for me?”
He smiled and patted Makyah, the littlest one’s head, intoning in such a
“We need to be careful of all our resources for the sake of the future
of these and others’ sake.”
I added, “If it were up to children, they would be wonderful caretakers
of the world. They love every little detail and appreciate the simplest
Marley, having one year of preschool under her belt, looked up at me
and said, “Nana, we loved the bumblebee on the black eyed susan
flower, too.” (I had sung the silly song, when we observed this, “Bringing
Home a Baby Bumblebee.”)
A short, but meaningful, look passed across from me to the man who
had stopped. He was just crossing the bridge from the parking lot by my
apartment building to the great university that, I believe, he taught at.
If only the children could “run the world.”
There is a Michael Jackson song, “Nature Song” which has a keeing sound
to his voice, while emphasizing how we need to take care of the Earth. It
has a lovely video on Youtube. There are many more songs out there with
those similar thoughts!
Of course, several Band Aid and Farm Aid famous participants, along with a
diverse international population who continue to support environmental,
hungry people, as well as wildlife. All with the specific intent of making this
world a better place,
All starting with the children and ending with them, too.