He reached in his pocket and pulled out the best frog he’d ever caught. It was tiny, but feisty, and his mother didn’t love it. She never loved anything important. Went screaming outside when he brought home that baby bat.

But he needed those things, the only living things around here that were littler than him. Except bugs. Guess they were alive, but only till he caught them. Some made a nice crunch when he stepped on ’em, but some made a mess on his shoe.

Mama always made him take off his play shoes outside. And leave ’em there till morning. Spiders sometimes built webs across the opening. He hated that. Frogs didn’t do that. Not even bats did that. So it made no sense for his mama not to like them.

“Wimmen,” he said the way his father said it. And like his father, he did what Mama said.

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