Welcome ...
This blog has been created to allow family and friends to share in and become part of the experience of 'Down at the Farm'.
Enjoy the children, their love for each other and their open hearted wonder and excitement.
Over time you will get to know the farm through their eyes and will see how they spend their day with each other in a very rich, organic way.
Each vignette is a snapshot in time. Follow from one to another, then on to more and you can share in our unfoldment and journey.
Enjoy your visit ...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

... so what happens when animals die?

There was a lot of love, a lot of joy, a lot of sweetness and gentle fun on friday at the farm.  We even faced the loss of two of our much loved companions, Pebbles the cat and Possum the guine pig with interest, curiosity, deep insight wisdom and care ... so typical of children really.
Here's Frieda with Possum at the end of last year ...

... and here's Anna, a little farm friend from thursday showing just how much love Pebbles had to give and how willing she was to recieve it ...

We and many others will miss Possum and Pebbles dearly ... two of the dearest creatures you could ever hope to meet ...

When it came to talking about death of the animals ... the childrens questions led the way.

They wanted to know ...

Where is she?
Where did she go?
What happened?
How did she die? ... but How!?

I answered each question as it came and told them that sometimes animals die because they get old. That is what happened to Possum. She wasn't sick or sore, just old. Her body got tired and her spirit needed to leave her tired old body.

Ted's mind was ticking over ... I could almost hear it.

'But how did she die?'

'Well, she got tired, she lay down, stopped breathing, her heart stopped beating, her body stopped moving. That's when her spirit left her body and she was dead?'
Where did her spirit go?
I answered, 'I don't know for sure, yet I think it's gone and joined with the spirits of all the other guinea pigs who've died before.
Luke thought for a moment and said, 'Well she had a pretty big spirit, so I think she might have joined up with' ... and he pointed as he spoke ... 'all those guinea pigs up there too' ... pointing to the little houses before him he continued ... 'that one and that one and that one' ... 'yeah, all those.'
'Where did her body go?'
'We can ask one of the farmers and find out?'
Which we did. It was in the late orchard near a little pond, so we went to visit and the questions kept coming.
'What did they do with it?'
'They buried it. It's really important to take care of a dead body. If you bury it, you keep it warm and safe and dry in the earth ... you make a hole, and then cover the animal with dirt ... like tucking it into a little house for the dead body to stay safe in ... and it stays there and can make compost and feed the earth until only the bones are left. If you don't bury it, it can get smelly and other animals can eat it. Not burying it is just not the most caring way to look after an animal you love and care for ... they need your help and care to do this for them. Sometimes people make a fire and burn the bodies so they break down quickly and the ash can go to the earth. At the farm, the animals get buried.'
Then we wandered in the moist morning, out of the garden with satisfaction it seemed ... well for now anyway.
The photos following capture a little something of each of the children as they played on the day ... in a little space with rocks and sticks, banging and building and exploring ... totally engaged with each other and innately knowing, there is only this now that matters ...

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