The keeper of the kingdom

TravelinOma wrote today about the green people in her life.

Let me take a moment and tell you about the little green person that is in mine (who probably would be much happier with more environmentally-conscious parents like these).
Chase has always been fascinated by animals. It began when he suddenly became obsessed over elephants at about age one. And when I say obsessed, please think of stalker-like, all-consuming-type behavior. To say that he loved elephants does his passion a great disservice.

Elephants somehow morphed into dinosaurs around age three.

There were not enough books in the library to satisfy his need for information. Big, thick books with words I had to learn to pronounce like Orinthomimus or Pachycephalasaurus (which I still know to this day). It agitated him to see cartoon-like T-Rex's with three claws on scrawny arms. Because, after all, T-Rex only had two claws. And any self-respecting paleontologist would know that.

Dinosaurs eventually morphed into reptiles--frogs and snakes, in particular. He can identify any snake or frog, in pretty much any part of the world. He can reiterate its life cycle, predators, food, and mating habits. He even once tried unsuccessfully to mate two plastic frogs in the middle of church.

He has always expressed extreme sorrow when reading about the rain forests being destroyed. His little heart nearly bursts when he talks about the importance of protecting the environment. It has in the past, and no doubt will in the future, bring him to tears. When his hero, Steve Irwin, died, we felt like we had lost a real friend.

Chase is just that kind of a guy.

Well, lately his passion has taken on a new voice.

The very loud voice of recycling and energy conservation.

He lectures me on a daily basis for not recycling my diet coke cans. He yells at his brother and sister when they leave the water on while they're brushing their teeth. He digs through the garbage when he gets home from school, and pulls out anything that can be recycled. Even if that thing has disgusting dried up food on it. He sees beautiful neighborhood fountains, and is disturbed by the wasteful use of resources.

And, with a passing comment made by Aunt Heidi in Utah, he is busily preparing a full-blown lecture series on the environment for his cousins when we visit this summer.

And yes, he's only eight years old.

So, thanks to Chase, we'll keep recycling around here, even if it's against our will and without our consent.

Al Gore would be so proud.