Animals have always been a much loved part of our household...from dogs to cats , hamsters to fish, guinea pigs to rabbits-not forgetting Skippy the sheep....now there’s a tale to tell......but not today.
No, today we commemorate the sudden passing of Dusty , 10 years ago. Dusty , the miniature rabbit.
One of the most remarkable things that I have learned as a mother to 10 is that each individual child has a very distinct and different personality.
Likewise, I have learned that each animal has its own distinct personality.. .Like humans they can be- shy and timid- or extrovert and fearless. Dusty ,I’m afraid was very much the former-a quivering little nervous wreck –no amount of loving would change him.To poor Dusty , the world was a scary place with few consolations-no matter what we did to boost his confidence-and try we certainly did....
One evening –after a freak lightening storm-son 3 went out to Dusty’s hutch to check on him.
Dusty had passed away, frightened by the loud noises and flashes.
Following some tears and prayers-----including a very fervent –Grace Before Meals--- uttered in sing-song fashion by 4 year old daughter , we set to planning the funeral.
Of course, we had to wait until Dad came home , he was appointed chief officiator for this most solemn of occasions. Dusty’s remains- wrapped in a tee- shirt -were placed by son 3 in a shoe-box and left lying –in-state awaiting cremation.
Burial was not deemed to be a good idea ...another story there...
So we waited , in the meantime eldest son , now a young teenager and confident as to how these events should be handled, whispered to me that he had put a tiny drop of spirit into the ‘coffin’ with Dusty –to speed up the cremation process...!
Finally ,The chief officiator arrived, most appropriately dressed in suit and tie and ready for the ceremony.Some ‘prayers’ were said , some memories shared and a great sermon from the Chief on 'that great rabbit heaven in the sky ',where Dusty would no longer have any fears and where his life would be full of fun and carrots .
The Chief took a box of matches and struck one –almost reverently-He held a lighted taper to Dusty’s ‘coffin’ and proceeded with the prayer ....
‘’Ashes to ashes .....And Dusty to ‘’........BOOM..BANG........BOOM.
The remains hit almost every corner of the garden.
Eldest son was nowhere to be found!