Monday, April 23, 2007


Below is a timeline of the events surrounded the untimely death of our dear Sparky. Thursday was an insane day to begin with and then--surprise--pet death. Ugh.

7:30 a.m
Phoebe feeds,waters and pets Sparky.

8:00 a.m.
I walk Phoebe and Mo to school. Ollie and I spend the morning running errands, playing, etc.

12:00 p.m.
Ollie and pick Mo and Zip up from school. Kindergartners have a half day due to Kindergarten Round-Up for next year's crop of kiddos (including Oliver).

12:15 p.m.
Mo, Zip and I take Ollie to school.

1:00 p.m.
Mo, Zip and I get Ollie from his classroom and walk him down the hall to Kindergarten Round up.

2:00 p.m.
Mo, Zip and I go to DQ for ice cream.

3:15 p.m.
We pick up Phoebe and Ollie from school.

4:20 p.m.
Mo goes out into the backyard to play and comes running in screaming "SPARKY IS DEAD!" Everyone goes tearing outside. Sparky is, indeed, dead inside her doghouse (if anyone is reading this without background info--Sparky is a duck. You can read more about the ducks here.) I like to think she didn't feel well and went to go lie down in bed. There is a dark yellow substance smeared on her and the hay in the doghouse--it's yolky. She hasn't laid an egg in a month or two--after laying one egg every day for over a year. We fear her death had something to do with egg production, but we're no poultry experts so it remains a mystery.

4:25 p.m.
I call Paul and he comes home.

4:30 p.m.
Zip's mom picks her. She is sad but fine, however, her mom later reports that she looses it once she gets in the van.

Paul and I start digging a hole in the garden.

4:35 p.m.
We tearfully lay Sparky to rest. Phoebe, Mo and I have a good cry. Moses refuses to put dirt on top of her. Between sobs he says, "It just seems so mean. If she were alive we'd never do anything like that to her!"

4:45 p.m.
Our friends, the Vondies, arrive to pick us up for a trip to Lincoln to hear David Sedaris read. We bought tickets a year ago. Such, such bad timing. How could we know? Jean also arrives, lucky lucky Aunt Jean, who gets to babysit the grieving, crying children. Phoebe gets in bed and cries herself to sleep. Jean wakes her up for dinner. They all draw pictures of Sparky and make lists of the things they love about her. Phoebe writes Sparky a letter.

We have a delightful time in Lincoln. Sedaris is hilarious and read only one essay I knew--and that was Jesus Shaves--so, how cool is that? We meet our friends who also went, but didn't sit with us at Starbucks. I call and check on the kids a couple times.

Friday 7:00 a.m.
I wake up Moses for school who sits bolt upright and says, "I'm supposed to feed Sparky this morning, but it doesn't matter!" I call our neighbors to let them know so they can tell Annie before she goes to Kindergarten and hears the sad news there. Everyone is sad. Everyone loved Sparky. We wondered if our neighbors would complain about ducks in the yard--but Sparky was a neighborhood hit.

7:50 a.m.
I go over to school without the kids and tell their teachers the news. All three of them kept saying how they were going to tell their teachers, but I thought I'd give a heads up.

4:00 p.m.
After school and snack we go out into the garden and lay a stone which reads "Our Beloved Pet" on Sparky's grave along with flowers and trinkets.

While Mo gives the most dramatic response to Sparky's death, it's Phoebe who feels it most deeply and misses her the most. She, more than anyone, cared for Sparky and enjoyed her company. Ollie is very practical, "I can't take her to school for farm week." "I don't have to shut the gate anymore." I don't think we'll get another duck. It was a lovely chapter in our life to have silly ducks for pets, but chapters end. Farewell, Sparky. Rest in peace.

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