The Circle of Life

A few minutes ago, as I was perusing blogs and Ches was watching a movie on TV, Aiden came running in from outside where the boys are playing.  “There’s an animal on our patio!  I think it’s a porcupine!”

We discovered a bird (yeah, where did “porcupine” come from???”) laying on the porch.  We thought it was dead, so I got Ches a plastic bag.  As he started to pick up the bird, it moved!  The wings flayed out and it’s head came up.  Then the bird put his head back down and closed his eyes.  We though it must be a hurt bird, and Ches got a small, toy shovel to pick up the bird and see what was wrong.  He can’t find anything wrong, but the bird can’t really fly (it did try for a few seconds), and he can’t hold his head up for long.  He just kept going back to a sleep position.  We think the poor thing is dying.

Ches put the bird in the shade under a tree and we brought the boys inside (although Aiden is outside singing to the bird about having a bad day, being tired, and going home to Heavenly Father).  We’ll go check on the bird in a bit and make sure a cat or certain very active boys haven’t hurt the bird.

It makes me sad to see this bird who can barely hold his head up.  He must be so scared as Ches was picking him up and moving him around.  Why is he dying?  Is he sick?  Is he old? Did he eat something?  What can we do??

I don’t know what else to say about this, really.  I’m just really sad for this bird, and I don’t really know why.  Now my kids (Aiden, really.  He’s the only one who understands any of this) gets to watch and learn about death.  Maybe we should go watch The Lion King or something.


2 responses to “The Circle of Life

  1. Death is hard. But death IS a part of life. I think that it is probably better in some ways if a person learns about death at an early age, and learns not to fear it, but to respect, and understand that we are mortal. Some teens and young adults feel themselves to be immortal and it colors their lives negatively.

    Don’t be afraid to have a funeral for the bird. Even tho you didn’t “know” it…it became someone cared about in it’s final moments. When Grandpa would thin out the rabbit population by scattergun, we kids would hold a mass funeral the next morning. Although in some ways, it seems rather silly as I look back [My sister was the official “mourner” and would cry for each rabbit as it went into the ground!] we did form a respect for the lives that were lost, and while we understood the need, and the impossibility of using the rabbits for food in that climate most of the year, we still thought of them as God’s creatures, and worthy of our concern.

    So to, with your bird. While apparantly too far gone to help heal, I would have taken the boys inside and finished it off mercifully and then had a funeral. Like the squirrel in El Dorado.

  2. I agree with Allrie, kids need to learn about death. I think that gaining a basic understanding of it on animals may make it a smidge easier if (God forbid) one of your family members passes away. It’s hard on kids, but its a good opportunity to have that FHE on the Plan of Salvation.

    (Unless Aiden is the type of kid that will get super paranoid about “am I going to die now?” The daughter of one of my friends was absolutely mortified about death and she was only 6 or 7 years old! she was constantly paranoid that EVERYTHING was going to kill her. If he’s the type that might take it too personally, I’d skip talking about it too much. Or maybe make it clear that he isn’t going to die until he’s as old as Grandpa or something).

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