Saturday, May 9, 2009

A Very Sad Day

We had a house full of company, people over, David grilling burgers and smoking prime rib in the backyard, kids in and out, jumping on the trampoline, people eating on the deck in the back, slightly organized chaos. Well, in all the chaos, one of the cousins yells, "What's that in Bailey's mouth?" Crap. One of the bunnies, Bailey finally poked his head in the right place and thought he was bringing home a treat or something. Riley made him drop it, he grabbed the bunny and rushed it back to the nest, there was some blood coming out of the bunnies mouth though. I've never seen Riley so distraught. He collapsed beside the nest in tears, balling his eyes out, poor thing. He kept saying over and over that he didn't want the baby to die.

We checked to make sure, and sure enough, it was dead, and ants were getting all over it, and we didn't want the other bunnies to get bit by the ants, so we took him out of the nest, used the garden shovel and dug a hole in the yard to bury the poor little bunny that Regan named "Junie." Riley cried almost all evening, he was so worried about that poor Mama bunny, losing one of her babies on Mother's Day, and if she would be mad at him for taking the dead one out, and all kinds of questions.

These kinds of things are so hard on kids, and hard for me to explain. The circle of life crap just doesn't cut it when your sensitive kid is thinking he is somehow responsible for the death. I told him he wasn't, he did everything right. We checked on the babies just to make sure they weren't abandoned, and we tried to make sure Bailey left them alone, there wasn't much we could do, it was a tragic accident. These things happen. But, it put a damper on the day.

I checked again today, the other two are doing well, getting bigger. I have googled baby bunnies for hours and found out they are cottontails, less than 10 days old, and will only stay around 2 weeks, so they could be gone soon. Regan has dubbed them, "Leslie" and "Cooper."

I gave the kids popsicles yesterday, and Riley got the sticks and made a grave marker for the one we buried. He's already been out there checking the grave and making sure that the bunny didn't come back to life and try to push up the dirt. Poor kid, he's such a rough and tumble boy it's easy to forget just how sensitive he really is.

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