CHILDHOOD MEMORIES – My pet’s funeral
Children really know how to celebrate life. Even life ever after! Well, that’s exactly what happened not so many summers ago. I do remember being about 9 or 10 and having a little chicken as a pet.
How I got one is altogether another story. Suffice to say that a family holiday at a remote farmhouse caused the introduction of this new member into our family.
The idea of adopting one of the flurry little things scampering about in the pen appealed to my childish instincts and my hapless parents could not do a thing about it. Imagine that!
Keeping a pet chicken! Thankfully KFC hadn’t made its entry into my little world as yet and I had managed to keep out the thought of having a chicken and eating it too, out of my head.
Well, to continue the story, it was wonderful playing with the chicken. Chores like feeding it grain,having it sit on my small shoulders and warm itself on my lap felt so good. My friends were thrilled as well. Suddenly having such a unique pet was news and far better than the neighbour’s puppy who whined the whole day. At least the chicken did not need a leash.
Life was great, life was good and as kids we had all the entertainment we could want, chasing the chicken around the courtyard……..And then, it happened.
One fine day the little fellow ( yep! The chicken was a rooster. The bright pretty little red projection that started showing on his head told us that) started to slow down. It was not like before.
He hardly ate anything, ran about less and just gazed into the distance. Not too long after that my dear grandfather predicted, “It’s time. He will be gone soon”. No sooner did I hear this, that large tear drops made their way down my cheeks. “Can’t be”, I muttered again and again. My friends all gathered in solemn silence and looked lovingly on our little pet chicken.
Grand parents often exhibit an omnipotence that makes grandchildren view them with awe.
This was one time however that I wished my ‘granpa’ was all wrong. But deep down I knew, I just knew. It would soon be time.
Not wanting to lose the moment, we got together, my friends and I, had a serious meeting with little chicken seated quietly in the midst of our little group.
“Friends”, I began, “We have all heard the tragic news. We are soon to lose a pet we have all loved and grown to cherish. Our dear chicken will soon be gone”. Heads nodded, a dozen tear-filled eyes lovingly gazed on the quiet little fellow who was oblivious of such dedicated attention.
One of my friends then spoke. “ I’ll tell you what”, he said, “Lets get our act together and prepare a resting place for him”. All agreed. Plans were drawn up, the courtyard scouted and at last a little corner near the garden fence identified. That was it! The final resting place for our pet chicken.
It was not long after that meeting, in fact just 2 days later that the moment came upon us. Our pet chicken lay lifeless on the ground. The brave one from our group ventured forward and touched him. No response. “He’s gone”, he declared,
The rest of us swung into anticipated action. Swiftly some of the boys went to dig the grave, others ran to pluck some flowers, I rushed to get some candles. A particularly creative chap twisted twigs to make a cross.
When all was ready, slowly we marched in a procession just like so many real ones that we had seen pass by to church.
I carried the little dead fellow and slowly laid him into his final resting place. Just as we had observed many times, one by one we threw in some mud while another ensured that it was done in an orderly manner. Candles were lit and put on the grave. The cross was installed and flowers strewn upon it. I put up an epitaph “Here lies our dear Chicken who gave us such joy’.
Silence descended and prayers were said.
Well, that ended my pet’s funeral on a lazy afternoon many summers past. All of us have bitten into several KFCs as well since then. My pet however rests in peace.
Children have knack of living their religious beliefs in various situations. My pet’s funeral was simply an extension of life’s reality in my childlike world.
– (c) Almar Business Consulting.
Prize winning speech ( For Grade 6- Elocution Competition, Kohinoor International School, Mumbai) written by Maria Coelho, Almar Business Consulting
Bow! Wow! Greets my wonderful pet golden retriever each time I come home. And this, my 2-year-old, four-legged brother named CHIPPER, as most of you know, reaches out to my heart like no one else can.
But let me tell you somethings that I have learnt from Chipper, which perhaps would have taken me a lifetime if he was not already in my life.
Lesson no 1: Chipper is totally happy being who he is!
Simple as it seems, this is such an important truth especially for me as a growing young person. How often have I wished to be another person? How many times have I looked in the mirror and thought, “ Well, I wished I was taller, faster, stronger..?”
And for all those times when I look at Chipper, he seems to say, “Girl, you’re beautiful as you are, and I am cool as I am”
As Josh Billings said “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” So come on now, go ahead and love yourself each time you peek into the mirror!
Lesson no 2: Chipper is always ready for some action and fun
Never a lazy moment unless of course he is unwell, Chipper looks at every guest longingly as if to say, “ Hey, won’t you come and play with me? I can get my bone or ball, if you please”.
Such a great lesson for me this is. Ever ready and full of life…now, isn’t that how we should live out lives out?
Lesson no 3: Chipper’s taught me the true meaning of friendship
A friend is someone who helps you when you are down and if they can’t, they lie down besides you and listen.
How I love the silence of friendship that Chipper offers me when I need it the most. Can I strive to be such a friend to my other friends then?
Lesson no 4: For us, a dog is a part of our lives, but for the dog, we are his whole life!
Chipper makes my life whole. A friend, a brother, a playmate, a partner in crime, a cuddly bear, a responsible protector and the star attraction in my home…..wow! What a lot of roles he plays. And I understand, I am friend, playmate, daughter, sister, student, citizen and so much more myself.
So thanks Chipper for teaching me so much more.
This is my way of saying, “You came into my life, stole my heart and my life will never be the same again”.