[BRACKET "Assignment No. 1:"]
Bring critters home alive
Frogs, turtles, salamanders, snakes, june bugs, praying mantises, juvenile bass and bream-my kids have kept watch over an impressive array of wild-caught creatures adopted, temporarily, into their care. Bring the critters home and you will likely not abet a salmonella or rabies epidemic or harm animal populations. What you will do is foster an appreciation for the animals themselves-not just wildlife as a concept-and teach your kids that there are valid, valuable ways to interact with them other than with a trigger. Keep two 3-gallon aquariums with close-fitting wire-screen tops. At my house, we have a seven-day rule: Animals are returned to their natural habitat within a week of capture. That way, they make it back without undue stress.