I was outside with all three boys this morning when Cubby called me to the front porch, announcing, "You HAVE to see this."
That's how I knew it would be something I probably wouldn't actually want to see, but I went anyway.
It was a dead grackle. Yup, could've happily skipped that one.
I could tell from the fact that the grackle was directly under the parlor window that it had flown into the window. I was almost certain it was dead, although I did have a momentary flash of horror as Cubby bent to pick it up that it might have just knocked itself out and would come back to consciousness right there in Cubby's hands, at which point I'm pretty sure I would have had a stroke.
It didn't, though. It was very dead, with a broken neck. And I know it was broken, because Cubby spent several minutes in a minute examination of the deceased bird, pulling out its wings, feeling its beak, touching its creepy sharp talons, and all the while its head was flopping grotesquely about on its broken neck.
"It's so beautiful," he said. "But so sad."
I assume he meant sad that it was dead, because the grackle was quite clearly beyond any emotion.
Cubby then danced the grackle about on the porch railing, singing an original song with the refrain of, "I'm the beautifullest gracklegracklegrackle, graaaa-CULL!"
And then Charlie had to have a turn, of course.
Some of you may be wondering how I could have let my sons play with a dead bird. Well, it's not the first time, you may remember. And I did insist that they could only play with it this afternoon, at which point we would bury it in the gully because it would start to rot. I also insisted they wash their hands thoroughly when they were done with it. See? Totally responsible!
In the end, I suppose I just didn't care that much if they were playing with a dead bird because, well . . . this is our life. And this is the sort of thing they do. Country boys gonna be country, and nothing I can do will change that.