Slugs and Abatoirs

Normally Maxi Minx is the bleeding heart liberal creature lover in our household and her little sister Midi is the thug. So I was a bit surprised to see Midi sprout her pink fluffy halo.

While Maxi was at school this morning, I ousted Midi and Mini into the back garden to get some fresh air and exercise (yep, just like puppies they need it or they go bonkers. In fact, Midi still chews her shoes and Mini chomps and dribbles over everything, but that’s another story). Mini busied herself making marks on everything with her jumbo chalks (…tick…’Mine’…stroke…’Mine!’…scribble…’Mine-mine!’) whilst Midi scrabbled about on her hands and knees, clucking away to herself.

“What’s on your hand?” I asked, before spotting that she was gently stroking a half-dried-out slug that was warily waggling its antennae at her, near its death-throes.

“It Mr Slug; he like a snail, but he got no shell! Pooooooor Mr Slug,” Midi cooed, gingerly picking it up to place it lovingly on the wet grass.

She paced up and down our little patio, patiently following all the silver slug trails to their mostly-dead originators, before rescuing them to the grass. Perhaps it’s just as well she doesn’t see the soles of my shoes when *I’ve* been out gardening… However, my Midi is still my Midi – she crumbled up some dessicated worms for her pet slugs as food before auntering indoors for a quick game of ‘barbecue the dolly’ before lunch.

That reminds me of the conversation I unwittingly got into on the drive to the supermarket last week. I’ve got a terrible habit of blethering away in a kind of stream of consciousness while I’m driving with the girls: “Oh look, there’s a cow. Oh look, there’s a cool-shaped cloud. Oh look, there’s a dead teenager thrown out his windscreen after that high speed crash”. Anyway, as we swung round the roundabout, I remarked on the lorry full of lambs off to the abatoir.

“What’s an abatoir, Mummy?” drifted the sweet little voice of my eldest, most sensitive, little girl, Maxi, from the back seat. Um, well, it’s the place where they turn lambs and sheep into joints and chops and things for dinner, I explained, hedging it a bit.

“What, they get lambs and they chop them up? They go, ‘chop-chop-chop’ with them? With big axes and knives?” quizzed Midi in a horrified whisper, catching on faster than I really give a 3 year old credit for. Oh crap.

“Um…yes,” I admitted weakly, then shouted the ultimate distraction: “Oh look, a rainbow!” Bingo. I’m the Mummy and I’m still the boss. For now.

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