Johanna (our three-year-old) loves critters. Lately, she has especially taken to the "roly-polys" that she finds in damp places inside and outside, capturing them and carrying them about like little pets. Unfortunately, her little hands are not as gentle as are her intentions, and often the poor creatures do not survive her affections!
Today I was helping her wash her hands after playing outside, and she had to put down the roly-poly she'd been holding. She carefully placed it on the floor and said, "Mommy, I set it fwee!" then cheerfully went about the business of washing her hands. I looked down at the poor thing. It was not moving.
While her efforts to be gentle are awkward, I know she is trying her very best. Someday gentleness will be one of her loveliest aspects. Until then, at least she is helping to keep the roly-poly population in check!