Saturday, 18 May 2013

A tribute to Ginger

Blog Every Day In May, Day 18.  Tell a story from your childhood. Dig deep and try to be descriptive about what you remember and how you felt.

My first experience with death was after the loss of our beloved guinea pig, Ginger, when I was probably about 6 or 7 years old. Ginger was a good pig - the best of any of the six I've had during my lifetime thus far. She was intelligent, good-hearted, loved watermelon and lettuce, and squeaked profusely whenever a family member descended the creaky stairs of our Virginia home to join her on the first floor in the mornings.  Little did she know, Ginger would be dropped down those same stairs one day, her leg would be broken, and she would die soon thereafter. Like I said, this would be my first experience with death.

I remember rather well when my parents told me Ginger had passed while I'd been out, or perhaps it was while I'd been sleeping. That part is fuzzy. But there were endless tears, and I was devastated that she  was gone for good. 

We wrapped her little lifeless body in a towel and placed it in a shoebox, and that evening we buried her in our garden out behind the house. I remember so vividly because just as her burial was complete and we were adding the last mounds of soil over her shoebox, "taps" began to play softly in the distance. We lived on an Army base, and they played taps every evening, apparently. We all burst into tearful laughter. It was such an appropriate tribute to our Ginger. Still miss you, little pig. Neither Lucy nor Grettle nor Clover nor Maya nor Benjamin ever lived up to the standard you set. May you continue to rest in peace in the little vegetable garden... I hope that taps still play to you every evening....

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