Some months back my family were asked to help with a friend who was hand rearing a young lamb named Micro. His mother had abandoned him and he needed regular feeding. We only took part in a couple of feeds but this all made a big impression on both children, especially Jude who kept asking how Micro was doing long after we left.
A few weeks ago he asked again and we called our friend to find Micro had not survived. He was too young and too weak. My wife told Jude the truth and made the point that not all animals would be lucky enough to be cared for as well as Micro was. There were tears, mostly from Jude, and we all moved on.
Last night, watching the telly while we were house-sitting (it’s the year of house sitting) with a very sleep Jude in my arms he kept saying, “Daddy, I have to tell you something.” When I asked him what this was he said, “Micro died.” He looked sad and I began explaining how lucky Micro was to be cared for and how lucky Jude was to know and care for Micro. Half way through this I was interrupted by Jude who put his hand on my mouth and said, “Daddy, it’s alright.” Then he fell asleep.