Sarah is my special needs buddy that I spend Sunday School with sometimes. I'm not sure about her special needs, but I do know that she is special. And my recent experience found no exception to this.
The air was cool, but the sun was shining as Sarah and I walked from one building to the other. She was carrying her stuffed animal for the day, a bird, as well as a photo album and an animal book. I was carrying the rest of her breakfast. She hadn't finished it before it was time to move onto the next activity.
As we walked down the path, we made faster progress than normal. Sarah usually stops to look at every plant and bug along the way but today was different because we were engaged in a conversation about what we had done over the summer. However, that changed just as we arrived at the other building. She spotted a cricket and had to have it. On the third hop, it was secured safely in her fist. I was amazed she was able to do this because crickets have a lightening fast jump. Also, I was amazed that she was able to do this without dropping any of the other things she brought for the day.
Sarah now had her prize and she wasn't letting go. I told her we couldn't go inside with the cricket, so she chose to stay outside and finish her breakfast rather than give it up. In the middle of eating her scrambled egg, she decided that she was going to feed the ants. She took a leaf to use as a plate and put a small piece of egg on it. And then we waited. She was a bit concerned and I was a bit confused because no ants showed up. At least not for a while. Then they came marching in. They worked together and carried the egg off not to return. It was amazing to watch. It was as if I had never seen ants carry crumbs before.
All the while, the cricket was firmly trapped in her hand. I was concerned that it might be squished from her firm grasp, but every once in a while she would reveal part of it to show me that it was all right. And it was. (And when I say it, I should say she. Sarah said that it was a girl cricket and I'm sure she knew although I have no idea how. ) She then decided that if the ants got something to eat, the cricket should have something too. She pulled a leaf off a nearby bush and proceeded to feed the cricket. She released it just enough for its head to come out above her fingers and it started munching around the edges of the leaf. I could actually see the little jaws moving as it was eating. That was one of the coolest things I had ever seen. Ever.
Soon her mother showed up and volunteered her coffee cup so Sarah could take home the cricket to join others she had there. We parted our ways and I spent the rest of the day telling anyone who would listen about the cricket I had seen eating. And I also spent the day being thankful that I got to spend the morning with Sarah.