Tuesday, 2 November 2010

lessons learned from living in the country

A friend recently acquired a poddy lamb. Her son (who is three) made her look him in the eye and promise they would not be eating the lamb and that they would be giving it a name.
You should never name the animals you plan on eating. And in retrospect you shouldn't name a duck after a beloved children's book and then buy that book only to have that animal die on you.
Yes, sadly Ping died recently. As you may know I am firmly pro duck so I was actually devastated. We don't know why (though people have suggested some interesting theories but we decided against a PM) but he will be missed. Even S who has always liked the chickens better agreed that Ping had a whole lot of personality. He was probably glad that Ping would not be pooing on the verandah anymore.
I wasn't sure whether to whisk Ping away and tell Jack he'd 'gone on holidays' (which is very Chicken Run) or to tell him he had died. S and I decided to tell Jack. We dug a hole, said goodbye and placed Ping in the hole. Jack picked some flowers and put them in and we covered Ping up. I was worried that Jack would be upset (where upset means scarred for life) but he seems to have taken it in his stride. He tells people "Ping died" then proudly shows them where we buried him.
I guess the arrival of two goldfish on the day of Ping's demise probably helped. And yes, they do have names (we certainly aren't going to eat them). Dorothy and Nemo.

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