Well, this beautiful spring day, Titch and I saw a lot of dead things. A dead crow, a dead sheep, a dead rabbit. You find this kind of thing hereabouts, but they alarm Titch no end.
Titch: OMG! More dead things! It's an epidemic!
Me: No, it's the coutryside. Stuff happens in the countryside.
Titch: Well, what about that thing in the road?
Me: What thing in the road?
Titch: That red and white striped thing.
Me: Oh, that was just a traffic cone. Someone had knocked it over.
Titch: Looked dead to me.
I tried to explain about things that are usually alive (sheep) and things that aren't (traffic cones), but Titch wasn't having any of it. To him, anything lying motionless on its side - whether it be a cone, a lamp post, a wheelie bin (especially a wheelie bin) - is dead. And whatever killed it, might be coming after him. He has a kind of Me Next mentality. So I thought I'd entertain him with the story of the dead lamb.
This happened some years ago, when I was out riding (different horse), and we came across a lamb that had drowned in a water trough. I found the farmer, and told him of his loss. I expected - what, exactly? Not grief. That would have been over the top, but perhaps an element of disappointment, maybe tinged with sadness for the unnecessary passing of something so young; even a passing regret for the loss of future revenue? But not a bit of it. A slow smile spread over the farmer's face. "He did well to get in there, didn't he?" he said proudly, and went about his business.
Titch thought this was very hearltess, and for once, I had to agree with him.