Brought my 8 years old son to take a bus to a mall a few stops away from our house.
Two of us were seated. Son noted an inch worm crawling on my arm and alerted me (might have crawled / dropped onto me while waiting under the tree next to the bus stop). I swept the worm gentle down to the floor (never to kill).
Son observing it inching itself forward in an interesting manner on the floor.
Son: Mum, what will happen to this creature?
Me: What do you think?
Son: Someone may accidentally step on it and kill it.
Me: Yah, I think so. Even if no one steps on it, it may also die because this bus is not its natural habitat.
Son: So poor thing.
Me: (pause for him to carry on)
Son: Can you give me a piece of paper?
Son: I want to pick it up and drop it on a plant.
Me: (trying to fish paper from my bag. Couldn’t find any and gave him a name card of a supplier).
Son: (bent to try to get the inch worm up the card but worm was crawling further away that his short hand couldn’t reach). Mum, I can’t reach it.
Me: We are alighting at the next bus stop and you may have to forego your rescue effort.
Son: (quickly got off from his seat and went to the seat behind to get the worm from there.) I got it!
Mission accomplished and we alighted from the bus and he put the worm on a plant.
Son: I am so happy that I save the life of an animal today!
Me: Yah, mum thinks the inch worm is thankful of you too!
Son: (face radiating with joy)
PS: I didn’t go into more detail discussions with him about whether the worm will survive on that plant or not or need to go back to its original habitat or whether sending it to the plant is ‘fair’ to the plant or not (since it will eat the plant). My incidental lesson stopped at seeing him showing some compassion to little life today…
PS2: He wrote this incident down in his journal after we returned and showed it to his dad and kor kor who both praised him for being a ‘hero’… hahaha…