Not even a sparrow, worth only
half a penny, can fall to the ground without
your Father knowing it.
On Wednesday morning, Batgirl died. We watched her take her last little gasping breaths.
Maddy said, confidently, "Maybe she's just having a little rest". I was aware that we were running well-behind on the things we needed to do that morning before going out. I told the kids that we would just put her down gently in the top of the empty set of drawers, because we didn't want the cat to get her.
But the truth of course, was that she was indeed dead. When I broke the news to the kids, they weren't that upset, but very curious - a natural response to this little event. After we had turns holding her little body(who knows if she was even a she!?!) and the children had exclaimed over how soft her feathers were, how fragile her little frame seemed, how stiff her little body, we placed her carefully back in the empty drawer. Lewis and I dug a deep hole in the back yard, right in the furthest corner. Then I wrapped the bird in some strips of paper towel; I don't know why I did that, I wasn't particularly attached to the birds, but I felt it was not quite - right - to just place her into the ground as she was. Lewis sang some little sweet song while we put her body into the hole.
Maddy ran and got her little 'Prayers for All Seasons' book that she reads out of quite a lot. She read out this slightly ill-rhythmed prayer:
When little creatures die
And it's time to say goodbye
To a bright-eyed furry friend,
We know that God above
Will remember them with love:
A love that will never end.
(I'm not 100% sure on the theology of praying for dead animals, but I was 100% blessed and amazed at my children's spiritual response to this event. But that is a whole other blog post for another day.)
We talked about how the birds body would break down, and become soft, and that it would eventually become part of the ground, feeding the grass and trees around it.
We talked about how Aunty Kerryn had recently had her lovely cat put to sleep, and how sad they were feeling about it.
And then we moved on, back to all the hurrying and scuffling of the day.