We have come across a dead hedgehog in the road.
"I am not walking past a hedgehog," the 5 Year Old insists.
"It's okay, just don't look at it," I reassure her.
"No, I am not walking past it because it might bite me!" she explains, confusingly.
"But it's dead, darling," I point out.
"How do you know it isn't just sleeping?"
Well, the entrails are the biggest clue, but I don't really want to point those out if I can avoid it.
"There are flies crawling on it," I indicate.
"Why are FLIES crawling on it??" She is horrified.
"Well, flies like dead things. They eat dead things."
"REALLY?" This is very exciting news. "Would they eat me if I was dead??"
"Um, well, yes, I suppose," I mull, wanting to change the subject. "Anyway, flies, dead, let's go past it!"
"What if the dead hedgehog suddenly comes back to life and is an evil hedgehog and attacks me with its spikes?"
I explain that hedgehogs are generally quite passive, have spikes to protect them from seagulls etc., and are pretty unlikely to attack whether alive or dead. Or undead. We walk past.
"How do you think it died?" she asks, further up the hill.
"I imagine it got hit by a car!"
"Why didn't it run out of the way?"
"Well," I say, "hedgehogs are quite slow moving, and it was probably dark and it didn't see the car until it was too late!"
"I hope it didn't damage the car!"
From the look of the hedgehog, I suggest that this is unlikely.
"Flies are really small," she observes. "It must take a really long time for them to eat a hedgehog." Pause. "I wonder how long it would take for one to eat me?"
And she slowly repeats "munch, munch, munch" all the way home as a rather inaccurate way of measuring this...