Piglet ( see here ) sadly departed our little family on Thursday 24th March 2011, and I have had no end of trouble trying to explain this to my son!
I debated with myself at length as to what to tell him, whether to show him etc, and decided that honesty was ultimately the best policy, remembering the demise of my beloved Jack Russell years ago that my mom lied to me about when he had to go to the vets to be put down ( to this day I wish I could have been there with him at the end!)
In the end I chose to take my son out to the hutch with me as I carefully removed the body and triple checked to make sure he was indeed dead before we buried him. I know he is only 4 yrs old, BUT with the smallholding plans I have, this will all be a part of his life very soon and that was the main reason for it.
He DID reach the ripe old age of almost 8 years, which apparently is quite good for a Guinea Pig, so0 cause of death was either plain and simple old age, or the annoying problem of a neighbour’s child insisting on adding snowdrop leaves and ivy to the animal hutches, ( irritatingly we have a shared access path and garden area, and the neighbours think it is perfectly ok to leave the hutches open and throw in whatever they see fit!)
I HAVE had gentle words with this child’s mom, but she doesn’t seem to see the potential problem, in fact she was the one to point out that there was a “problem” with the piggie, ( she also thinks that all animals should be allowed to roam freely!)
Piggie was fine when I fed them in the morning at 8am, she almost gleefully “informed” me at 1pm, I really cannot wait to move to Wales now!
The way she talks at me sometimes, you’d think we never ever cared for our creatures, when in fact they are spoiled rotten pets!
Back to my son’s reaction however, which has been something of an eye opener!
He has told his grandparents that Piglet got into some big fight, got bashed on the head ( there wasn’t a mark on him) and died-ed.
He told his best friend that Mummy cooked Piglet! ( not much chance of that, far too many bones and not enough meat on a piggie!), and tells ME that Piglet isn’t really deaded, he is just sleeping, whilst he pats me on the shoulder and proffers a tissue!
I am beginning to think my once cute little boy is turning into a very clever con-merchant!
Now he rushes outside every morning to check if the rabbits are also deaded yet!
At least there have been no nightmares for my son since, no awkward questions and no really sad moments on his part!
I do wonder how other parents tackle this situation, did I get it totally wrong, or would you have done the same thing?