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Cole does not yet understand that every living thing is connected, even the smallest creature. Killing for its own sake separates Cole from the circle of life. Garvey uses the metaphor of the grocery list. Separated they taste awful; together they make a yummy cake. It is the same with Cole and the animal. Simply killing it out of anger merely means he imposed his will on something smaller. Respecting the creature would have brought something more positive out of Cole.