Wednesday night began with an announcement in the backyard. "Guess what, guys?" I asked as cheerfully as possible. "Tonight, we are going to PAR-TY!"
Everyone was immediately suspicious. "Why?" asked All-a-Boy. "What for?" asked Cowgirl. "Do we get refreshments?" asked Princess.
"YES!" I answered enthusiastically. "We are going to have ICE CREAM! And COOKIES! But first someone has to guess which chore we are taking out of the job jar FOREVER!"
Hopeful guesses were immediately shouted out. Vacuuming? Dishes? Laundry? Bathrooms?
Shoe job? Trash job? Toy closet?
Dusting? Make beds? Clean Buddy's cage?
"That's it! We don't have to clean Buddy's cage anymore!" I told them. And then All-a-Boy, in true tease-cowgirl-who-loves-the-bird-most fashion, said, "And then Buddy will DIE!"
"Actually," I interrupted, "he already did."
(I told you I wasn't good at this kind of thing.)
Weeping and wailing and questions of unbelief began immediately and I explained how I had found Buddy and then buried him. But tonight were going to celebrate Buddy's life, not be sad about his death. Cowgirl took it the hardest, as was expected. All-a-Boy was quick to make up for his untimely teasing.
"Where did you bury him?" Cowgirl asked. It was the question that I dreaded most. Because honestly, it had taken everything in me to place Buddy's little birdie body in a paper bag. I did not want to deal with a backyard burial. So, I buried him in the only place I was capable of... (please do not think badly of me!) the trash can.
"He is buried somewhere in the yard," I answered (truthfully!) while passing out ice cream bars. And then the Buddy Celebration began.
We all took turns jumping on the trampoline and sharing our favorite memory of our little feathered friend.
Thumbelina recalled the time that our bathroom was flooding and All-a-Boy ran to Buddy's cage, opened it, then yelled, "Fly away, Buddy! Save yourself! Be free!"
All-a-Boy remembered when Buddy became a phantom bird and found his way into the crevice between the kitchen sink and the dishwasher.
Princess laughed as she talked about the time Buddy flew onto the tray of Baby O's highchair and O was excited for the company.
Cowgirl's favorite memory was of the day we got Buddy.
I don't think Hubba had a story, but I think he may have seen Buddy's ghost...
Afterward, we went inside for a movie night and slumber party.
The next morning I asked Cowgirl if she would like to clean the cage and sell it then use the proceeds to purchase a stuffed animal which lives online as well. She liked that idea.
We listed the cage for sale and Cowgirl had cash in hand by this afternoon.
We're going to buy her a Webkinz bird tomorrow.
(For those of you who marveled over my cruelty in burying the bird in the outside trash receptacle, hate me no more. Allen always had a soft spot in his heart for Buddy and wanted to give him a proper burial so I dug the bag out from under a few things and he will find a new resting place in our yard very soon.)