We are on a beautiful beach in Ile de Re. There is a fully intact, but very dead, lobster washed up on the beach. Pickle, Wotsit and Nephews 1 & 2 are gathered around for a good look. Wotsit and Nephew 1 give it a good poke whilst Pickle and Nephew 2 look on a few safe steps away.
"It's dead, it's dead." Nephew number one yells with glee. "No it isn't" says Pickle, a touch perplexed. "It can't be dead, it's still here, so it must be alive."
Nephew 1 pokes a bit harder. "It's dead" he squeals "it's not moving".
Pickle turns to me. "It's not dead is it Mummy? When things are dead we can't see them anymore. They are completely gone... like Alex. He's dead and we can't see him ever again."
I flounder momentarily - trying to work out how much to tell this bright, but very sensitive, almost 4 year old.
"It is dead pickle. But when things die they don't disappear straightaway. We can see them for a little while longer and then they go. If we come back tomorrow, the lobster will be gone and then we won't be able to see it anymore."
Bright but still very accepting, he accepts this...
...And I hope for a high tide.