Both girls love animals, but R₂ is the one with a particular affinity for the small and creepy.
Today, while the others were away, she led me outside. “Dad! Come and look at the weta motel! There’s a really big one in there!”. She unscrewed the wingnuts holding the cover on, and there they were.
This is pretty much par for R₂, and of course was easily surpassed later in the afternoon when we discovered she’d adopted a rather battered and broken-winged bumblebee as her latest pet. “It’s called Queenie!” she said proudly.
I explained that she should try and be careful as bumblebees weren’t always very good at knowing friends from squashers. Not that this advice changed her behaviour one bit, as she let it wander over her hands and up her arm.
She made her sister go and pick some clover for Queenie, and we watched as the bee’s long black tongue tried to dip into the clover florets.
Hours she spent, and would only come inside at last for the evening once Queenie was in her own bed, a bower of clover and grass picked for sweetness, and a carefully folded tissue for a pillow, laid out on the front door step away from any rain that might fall.
What will we say to R₂ if Queenie is gone by morning?