Sure, that redhead looks innocent enough. But see that scratch under Alex’s eye? It’s from Patrick, who without warning or provocation attacked his brother’s face. (Aside from a few minutes of crying, Alex was OK, and I now get to tease Alex that he looks like Scar from The Lion King. Alex then corrects me. “No, Dad, Scar’s scratch went through his eye, like this.” Then he draws an imaginary line from above his right eyebrow down to the top of his cheekbone. He’s very precise.)
As for Patrick: He actually shows signs of maturing. October was a rocky month. (Those who saw us during our trip to Virginia know that well enough!) But the last several weeks, Patrick’s been very even-tempered and upbeat. Our trip to Minnesota stands out in particular: Patrick was much, much better behaved than he was on either our summer vacation or our trip to Virginia. But every now and then he does something unexpected, like deliver this scratch.
I imagine this is what it must be like for one of those crazy animal people buy a tiger cub and bring him home. He may live in your house, eat your food, and act cuddly most of the time… but the day always comes when you remember he has claws and is a wild animal at heart.