I asked after our geriatric rodent, as one might, innocently. Snickers seemed slower to me these days, and he had surpassed his life expectancy some time ago.
Still, I didn't expect to be hushed when Greg came into our room with a funny look on his face.
I didn't know that Snickers was dying last night until I had spoke too soon and then he was gone.
All morning, I waited for Lexi to remember how he was panting last night, for her to discover him for herself. But as she creeps towards her teens, she's prone to sleeping later and later and by the time she got up, I was actively keeping her from him.
I knew she'd be crushed - she'd understand - but she'd be crushed and I didn't want to dump her off for Orchestra camp, teary and miserable.
Then, she was invited to spend the day with one of my best friends, to grocery shop and cook dinner with her friend Quinn, and I kept the news to myself.
She will swim tonight and then I will tell her and we'll bury his little body in the hole Greg dug last night, knowing he'd be away when the time came to say goodbye to our girl's sweet little friend.