As everyone poked around looking at things, Jock wondered off towards the worm farm some 10 metres away or so.
All the while insistent.
'It won't fly.'
We looked for a moment or two at it lying still and to my eyes, obvious that it had not been so, for very long.
'Yeah Jock, it won't fly.'
I realised that he'd been standing here looking at this little bird for some time, knowing that it wasn't moving and realising something was going on with it. He had been in deep observation and contemplation, not concerned or anxious though feeling it really mattered to let me know what he was seeing.
What to do?
Farmer Nick was our answer. Nick is beautiful in his interactions with the children, warm, interested, friendly, happy to share a bit of info and the children over time have all seen how well he tends to things and how much work he does ... ... especially caring for the farms feathered friends.
Off we went and found Nick at the new shed, talking to one of the men working there.
'Nick, Nick, dead bird', the children called. Nick came over to see what we wanted and we decided together that we could bury it.
Nick suggested that we put it under a newly planted fruit tree as it would really help the fruit grow.
Off we went with a spade, lifted the bird onto it, walked down to the fruit tree and dug a hole.
The children were fascinated and fascinating. All curious, interested and being themselves. What happened to it? How did it die? Will it come back? Make the hole bigger, don't squash it, that looks soft, where will it go.. .. ..?
As we chatted away, and the hole was dug, I noticed their concerns were mostly about the birds comfort and that we did this well. 'It's soft in there.' 'It needs to be bigger.' 'Don't squash it.' 'That's good, it can fit.'
I gently lay the bird in the hole and we all stood there looking at it. 'That's a good bed' said Dawn.. ..I think. Jock surveyed things and burst out with, 'Need a roof, need a roof.'
So we talked about the earth covering it and how that would be a good roof and keep the rain out and would even be warm and keep the bird safe now.
As we shovelled the dirt on and I patted the last bit in place. The children all gathered round in a circle.
A moments stillness was followed bye Jock saying, 'All finished' and a moment later Dawn adding in stillness, 'The birds gone now.'
Simple, beautiful, whole and complete we'd taken care of the bird that couldn't fly and all was well at the farm.