Monday, May 4


It's a funny thing. I sat up late last night filling out questions about our children for our homestudy. One two-sided sheet per kiddo and the very last question was "What significant losses has this child experienced and who has helped them and how".
I sat.
And sat.
And sat.
And could not come up with anything. Nothing. Notta.

This morning Annaliese Kaeling came running and crying. She saw a duckling loose in the yard as she did her chores and picked it up only to see that it was missing a leg. My stomach sank.

Papa and the boys came running, I bundled Chase under the big coat of Sean's that I put on and we went out. Six ducklings left, one missing a leg, another dead missing a leg in the duckie house.
Sad times as Papa and I looked for signs of the others and saw where something had wedged into a corner of their house.

Papa put little one without a leg out of his misery out of sight of the children and talked to the kids about predators. I love what he told them.

He told them that in life they'd hear stories about how predators in the wild are good, need to be protected, and are harmless. Animals eating for hunger isn't bad, he said. This is what some predators do, he told them, killing for fun and pleasure. He asked them to remember this.

Then we cuddled on the couch in the kitchen and talked about how not even a sparrow can fall without God noticing. The kids often ask if animals go to heaven and being that they are creatures without souls, not made in the image of God, I struggle with that answer. So I'm honest. I say I don't know. I tell them that I know God created animals and was pleased with them and so maybe He has included them in heaven too. For now, that answer suffices and I am thankful.

The irony of the fact that these were meat ducks isn't lost on me. I think the difference in all of our minds is that they would have had a happy life and a humane death, not left maimed and suffering.

I am sure our five remaining ducklings will have lots of love poured on them today.


Diane Shiffer said...

a beloved pastor of ours had a wonderful answer for the "animals in heaven" question. our dog had been killed by a car and my daughter was heartbroken. her sunday school teacher (for some unknown reason) felt compelled to tell her that she would never see the dog again and that he wouldn't be in heaven. theologically he may have been correct, but honestly why tell that to a child? anyway, the pastor pulled her aside, prayed with her and told her she had no need to worry. God had promised that she would be happy in heaven and He knew just what she needed to be happy. if she needed the dog in heaven with her, he would be there♥ that answer satisfied her completely... i admit to using it with other children since☺

Alison said...

I'm so sorry about your ducks. I've grown up on a farm of sorts and though I can participate in the butchering of chickens and the slaughtering of pigs after they have lived a full and happy life, the trails of feathers the foxes leave on our property and the wasted bodies of the poultry they leave, still makes me sick. We lost our beloved Great Pyrenees gaurd dog three weeks ago and the night after, a fox came killing several chickens and our two pet ducks. Sigh.... It doesn't get any easier to lose animals to predators.

As a side note, I know you guys like big dogs or you wouldn't have a Great Dane, so, if you have problems with predators, a Great Prenees is a great solution. Let it live outside and sleep on the more foxes. And you can't find a sweeter companion.

Alison said...

I like that, Persuaded. Loss does make me long for Heaven... No more death!