Monday, June 24, 2013

Teaching Moments

Yesterday, one of our guinea chicks died.
Death is a part of life, and the only
certainty we have. Teaching it young
makes it easier.
We really don't know how it happened. Earlier that day, Wife noticed that he/she (let's just say "Stanley," and credit Thing #2 with the name) was acting very sluggish and not keeping up with the rest of the flock.
They had been knocking over their food bowls for a week, so we left them to peck at the spilled food for a while.
 While the other 5 were zipping around after moths and pecking at the food and at crawling bugs like crazy, Stanley waddled around looking very confused. Despite being the same age, the natural guinea instincts had not yet materialized. Maybe they never were going to.
With the one looking sluggish, we went ahead and added the feed to a plate.
Later that evening, Stanley was resting in guinea peace.
We took the kids out to see him in the chick-u-bator. I removed him, with the kiddos present, and we discussed death for a bit. They took it very well, understanding the cycle of birth, life, and natural death, as created and ordained by God, as best they could at 7 and 9 years.
We answered some questions for them, and had a very small burial ceremony. It was sad, but nobody cried. It's nature.
We used it as a good teaching moment, and a moment that we will continue to have as time goes on. Shying away from reality is never in anyone's interests.
On the positive side, Stanley was the first animal we've officially lost. One cat has gone AWOL, but we're just not certain on where he is.
All in all, it's a pretty good track record so far.

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