It died in the end anyway.
I always try to save these tiny creatures, and sometimes it works. The one I found half-dead the other day just needed some water and fruit, and after a while, it must have revived because it was gone when I went back to check. There are more often failures than successes though. A creature may look perfect and beautiful on the outside, but inside be hopelessly broken. It makes me cry.
The most recent of the creatures I tried to help was the saddest. When I found it, I could see it was badly hurt, as it moved awkwardly and slowly, not with the normal fast grace of its kind. It managed to hide from me and I pretended that it would get better, and be gone when I looked for it, and I was glad, as I could not imagine putting an end to its life. A kindness perhaps, but not one that I would be able to perform.
Hours later, I realised that the creature was still nearby, hiding under a convenient structure. I felt remorse for leaving it to suffer for so long, and so, I picked it up and gently placed it in a small house. I put water near to its head, hoping it would be able to take a drink. I used the information systems of the world to discover the food it might like, and I tried to provide something suitable from what I had. I kept the creature away from the danger of predators, and hoped it was warm.
I did my best.
And then I watched it die.
I watched it with hope, which I imagined I saw reflected in its seemingly intelligent eyes. My hope was made stronger by the ability of the creature to move. Three times I had checked on it, and each time it had been in a different place.
I wondered how much it knew or understood of what was happening to it. Were the concepts of kindness and compassion possibilities in its mind?
Then, it died.
I made sure, hope surviving even then. I waited a long time. No Breath. No movement. I still waited, the weight of that tiny life too much to bear.
When I was sure, I lifted it, and placed it in an improvised shroud. I placed it on the ground, to become part of a new life. As I laid it down, its long hair blew across its face, and a tiny metal pin fell to the ground. When I looked closely, there was a sparkle from the gem so finely set into the end of the pin. I wondered at such tiny and insignificant creatures spending the time to make adornments for themselves, when mere survival was such a struggle.