The Bear found a lady bug in the back yard.
He brought it inside and showed mom and dad.
He received a bug jar with a magnifying top from his grandmother and having failed previously to catch anything worthy of study (or anything at all for that matter), I suggested he put the lady bug in the jar and get a good look at it.
All was well in the world.
When it was time to come inside, we reminded him that he needed to let the lady bug go.
Why? he asked.
Because if you don't the lady bug will die.
I don't want to. He's my pet.
Said with the beginnings of a quiver in the voice and impending tears on the lids.
You have to Bear. If you keep him in the jar, he'll starve to death and die.
More than able to empathize and vaguely able to summon the vestiges of my own memories in similar situations, I attempted to make the release into something more than dumping a bug back into the garden.
The effort had minimal effect
And then seven words I never saw coming and never knew I would dread so much to hear
I want a pet of my own.
The quiver now fully evidenced and the tears now flowing.
This is not going to end well.