Life, Death and Wildlife

The past few weeks, we’ve been learning a lot about wildlife, and particularly life and death. Although, we’ve tried to concentrate on the life part of it.

A few weeks ago, I told you about the baby bird which was raising a ruckus in our backyard. Then was just as suddenly gone.

Well, there may be some good news in that story… Ms. Kaz was talking to some of our neighbors, and they were talking about a baby bird, making a lot of noise in their backyard. Then, the next neighbor reported the same thing. Apparently, the bird was somehow making its way across our neighborhood.

I don’t know where it eventually wound up, but maybe there’s hope for the little guy.

Then this weekend, we had another Bird Incident. My daughter was playing in the driveway, when I noticed a small white object. It looked like an egg. I took a closer look. It was an egg. “Hey, sweetie, come look at this!” I told her. I wanted her to see the egg. I wanted her to Learn Something.

As she got closer, I realized the egg was slightly open, and there was something inside. Well, I don’t know if this baby bird was still alive, but it would be fascinating (and a chance to Learn Something) for her to see.


I moved the egg with a stick, making sure to mention to her several times that we Don’t Touch Eggs outside. I went to turn the egg over, and a leg kicked out. It moved again. Was the bird hatching? That’s what I told my daughter, but I later realized it probably cracked when it fell, and the bird was too young to survive outside the shell now.I went back to take a few pictures (at one point, the leg kicked out and actually turned the egg away from the camera), then left it alone. Thankfully, my daughter didn’t ask any more questions. And thankfully, she seems to have forgotten about it.

She wasn’t with me when I checked on it again in the evening. The ants had set in. But it still moved. In the morning, the egg was there. I didn’t check for movement. By the time Ms. Kaz went to work, the egg was gone.

As I mentioned, my daughter seems to have forgotten. I am not sure I wanted to talk to her about death just yet. It isn’t like I completely want to shield her. We watched an old episode of the Simpsons last night, and Homer said something to the effect of, “I want to shield her from death until it happens to someone she’s close to.” I don’t want that. And she has talked about death recently, but I don’t think she fully grasps it.

We’ve talked about how my father, her grandpa, is no longer around. But she never really asks why. I am not even sure if this is something normal almost-three-year-olds talk about. Or whether you should try and explain things like death to a child her age. Or whether I even know how to talk about death.

* * *

But anyhow – our other wildlife/death related incident happened today. We noticed the strawberry plants we had planted for our daughter were completely torn apart by some kind of animal. I don’t even think we can salvage them.

We will try to get new plants, but we may be resigned to going to Pick-Your-Own farms with her. Too bad. I think she was looking forward to strawberry plants in our own yard.

* * *

Also, on the “death” front – I am really digging the new Paul McCartney album. No, no, he’s not dead (again). But the album is very introspective. I guess this make sense, since he’s now 64 (and has a daughter only slightly older than mine, but probably about 3 or 4 more nannies than I have, too).

But musically, and lyrically, it is a very very good album. Granted, Paul has a few very very good albums, but this is his first in a long long while. My daughter likes the opening track, Dance Around Tonight, which is a catchy, simple little ditty that I’ve taken to singing to her.

One of my favorite tracks is End of the End, which is Paul singing about “the day that [he] die[s].” It is a simple, powerful song. One word of advice – if you are looking to avoid a discussion about death with your child, you might not want to play this song in from of them. I played this in the car, and fortunately, my daughter decided to focus on a line about “no reason to cry” instead of any of the lines about death. Crying is easier to explain and talk about than dying.


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