Everyone knows the longer a child is quiet the more mischief she is finding. Our home is no exception - as evidenced by events like this.
We know to periodically monitor quiet moments with one exception - the backyard. While hunting lizards and tracking slugs a girl needs some space. This is a kid space specially designed for hunting, frolicking with fairies, guiding a pirate ship, and planning jailbreaks.
Decreased supervision coupled with a strong need to love and hug a small furry animal - perfect storm was brewing.
The first time it happened Boy was babysitting and Youngest came into the house casually telling her brother it was a good time to check on the guinea pigs. He responded by heading out to the pig mansion where he discovered a only 2 of 3 pigs were present. A search through the yard revealed the missing cavy, a quick chase followed by a capture saw the littlest piggy all the way home.
So, we should have learned.
Yet only a week later found Youngest playing in the yard with the elusive "Just playing" called through the open door to reassure me as I made dinner. Boy warned she was up to no good, but she was spotted on the swings and on the platform to the slide. Playing. No worries.
Dinner was served and in she came to eat, put on PJ's and start the evening routine. As she headed toward bed, she returned - worried. "I want to play outside again." I told her it was dark and time to settle, maybe read a book. She was having none of it, "I forgot something on the pirate ship." Hmm, warning bells begin. "Just let me out, I'll come back," she implored. Nope - not happening. The panic and tears began. "I just need to get Harry Potter Pig"
What? Since it was daylight?! "Where is he?" struggling to maintain quiet calm - a necessary trait when dealing in interrogations. "He's on the pirate ship - just let me see him." Up I jump.
Hubby and I grab flashlights, head into the murk and hope against hope that we will not need to explain anything to 'Tween. As we approached the "ship" I feared encountering the broken body of the littlest pig at the foot of the climbing wall. Fully aware he would be nakedly open to predator hawks and owls alike. It could have been his magical namesake or pure luck, and frankly I don't care, he was there - alive and safe.
Phew. Upon her debriefing - Youngest burst into teary confession - she only wants "a little pet to love and hold..."