When she is older, do you think Gemma would be prone to bringing home stray animals? What are Richard and Layla's reactions?
It doesn’t wait for older. Gemma is four the first time she brings a frog she caught in the garden into the house and puts it in the bathtub. At five it’s four snails, a bucket of tadpole-laden pond water, a kitten, and three birds. At six it’s a bat and a long discussion from her parents about not touching animals without the permission of an adult and then a longer discussion between Richard and Layla about where in the world their daughter managed to catch a bat.
The talking to holds for a while and then at eight she gets caught sneaking food into her room for a stray cat. Nine is the year of the snakes and at ten she manages to keep an injured fox denned up in the garage for four weeks before her parents realize something is up. That resulted in another lecture and her beginning to volunteer at the local humane society. She fosters dogs for the next two years until she manages to convince her parents she’s serious enough about it and starts volunteering with an wildlife rehabilitation group. She’s licensed to work with injured raptors by the age of 14. A variety of small mammals move in and out of the cages she keeps in her room. And then at eighteen…
Well, that’s a story you’ll be hearing about soon enough.