I was outside weeding yesterday, when Savannah (our 4 year old), comes running over to me. “Mommy, Mommy – Kiwi (our cat) is getting a baby bunny!” She points to a bush in our yard, and as I push the branches aside, I see a little baby bunny huddled inside. Out of my two oldest kids, Savannah is the animal lover. She has always played with stuffed animals – no baby dolls for her! She constantly begs and pleads to have a pet she can hold in her arms.
So, I go find a pair of mittens, and tell her she can hold the bunny. He was pretty jumpy at first, but she was so happy. She held that baby bunny for hours! We talked about letting him go, but she got upset, so I decided he might as well stay until the next day. We put him in a bucket with a little water, a carrot, and a towel.
The next morning, she went to the bucket so excited to hold the bunny again. “Shhh,” she says as she picks him up. “He’s sleeping.” I looked closer and was surprised to see that he was not moving. The little baby bunny had died. That was the last thing I wanted my daughter to have to experience. I knew she didn’t really know what death was.
We told her the bunny wasn’t coming back; he was asleep and not going to wake up. She seemed to take it okay. We found a little box and an old piece of material and put him inside. Daddy dug a hole and she put the little box inside. I was surprised that she didn’t seem to be reacting too much.
But, as soon as we started putting dirt on top of the little box, she bursts into tears. She starts sobbing and doesn’t stop for probably 30 min. This was one of those times we were ready to promise her anything. Our poor little heartbroken girl…. She did seemed to forget about him for the afternoon, but at bedtime she looks at me and says, “Mommy, can I have the bunny after he is done being dead?”