Wednesday, July 13, 2011

To Mock a Killed Bird: What's Going On?

Protect the children,
THAT is the Law.
With all the crapolla going on in the news (mothers killing their children, little boys being shot by their father-figures), you would think that my disgust-reactions would be pointed steadily outward, towards the great big evil scary world. But no...

The other day, I was horrified by the behavior of children under my own supervision.

I watch a couple of boys for one of my co-workers. It works out fine for us, since they bracket my son by age and therefore all keep each other out of my hair for the most part. Having them is very little extra work to help out a fellow parent in need.

Ugly, yes; but hardly a
threat to humanity...
Then they got excited about a bird.

A small bird, just barely too young to fly, had fallen out of the nest in the spruce tree in the backyard where the boys were playing. They very excitedly came in and told me all about it. I told them, great, but don't touch it.

About ten minutes later, the boys straggled in with a tale of horror straight out of Poe's Collected Works. The oldest (not my son) had taken the toy bubble-mower and used it to kill the bird, spilling it's little birdy-guts all over the sidewalk. (Sidenote: EW!)

Exhibit A: the murder weapon.
I couldn't believe my ears. They were excited to see what was inside the bird; and while I can appreciate such love of knowledge, I had to make it clear that their methods were closer to that of Dr. Mengle and not something that I could approve of or condone.

Now, being a follower of Kali and a carnivore to boot, I understand and appreciate the cycle of life and death, as well as the necessity of killing for food and safety.

But this was neither and kind of frightening, besides. After all, serial killers and sociopaths tend to have that childhood warning sign: killing/torturing small animals. (BTW, I did a little Google-type digging and found this, this, and this on the subject.)
When kids go bad... it's never pretty!

Now, having dealt with the situation as best as I could (I think I did fairly well, making it clear how I felt, that such behavior was not acceptable, but not calling them "bad") and looking back at it, it's more frustrating then anything else.

I am trying to teach my children the (sometimes conflicting) duel morality of compassion and natural death cycles. It's easy to say that all killing is wrong, but I don't believe that. I will kill to protect my family, through safety or food.

So I have to figure out how to get my children to understand the qualifiers, not just the basic message, an understandably difficult line for them to walk. But that's what make Pagan Parents a whole 'nother breed.

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