Saturday, May 15, 2010

Ethics 101

Is it really wrong to tell your kids that you saw a sick baby bird's mom come find the baby, then watched them fly away together, singing, and happily reunited forever?

What I really saw, was the stupid bird jump out the box, then onto the deck, finally into the grass, then across the lawn. The process took hours (afterall, the bird was too young to fly, and its leg was broken...). I assume a snake ate it last night, as it sat, exposed, in the middle of my backyard. I thought about saving it, but then I decided that once was enough. If it was on a suicide mission, who was I to interfere?

I know honesty is the best policy, but really...which version would you tell your kids?


  1. So much for a happy ending! lol
    I'm still chuckling about your last post. I've always been pretty honest with Aimee so I'd probably tell the real version, but leave room for the possiblity that the bird found it's mom and hopped away to live it's life in freedom. I'm sorry their little pet is gone so soon.
    What an adventure for you. Even with my love of animals, I won't try to save birds- that's best left to professionals!! Kudos to you for trying, though!

  2. Is a congrats in order for not having to take care of a bird. . . I think so. CONGRATULATIONS.

    On the other hand, two summers ago we found two sick kittens under our patio, and I got suckered into nursing them back to health, or at least trying. . . they ended up dying. Hallie was 2, she's got it, she still talks about her kitty dying. She was okay with it, sad still but okay. It helped actually to tell her, for when her great grandma passed as well as families dogs, and a crab. Just tell them, kids take it way better than adults.

  3. LOL, I've done the same thing to my kids several times. For some reason we had a slightly stupid batch of birds last summer nest in the second story area above our roof and we had several that fell from the nest too early and I told my kids the same thing.

  4. I would tell them the truth... but omit the assumption about the snake. The bird left the box on its own volition and started across the yard. You don't know what happened to it in the end, so offer possibilities (died before it could get back to its mom, found its mom, etc). Reaffirm the scripture that says God knows even the sparrow.

    I agree with Cassie. Kids often take death better than adults; they have fewer phobias and preconceived notions that have developed over the years.

  5. I think I need to call the ASPCA or maybe PETA on you. Don't you know you were supposed to bring the bird into your bedroom, dress the bird's leg in a tiny cast, feed it worms that you chewed yourself and spit into its little mouth and eventually teach it to fly? For shame, Erin, for shame :)

  6. I would want to explain survival of the fittest and attach some "listen to your mom" lesson to it (its an issue right now) but I'd probly go more along the lines you did.