When my young son realised that his pet rat (“Mouser”) was unwell, he promised her he’d take properly if she died.  When this happened, he was so gentle. It was winter. I lit the fire. He came in bearing Mouser’s body and laid her in the flames.  I hadn’t realised his intention. We stilled, we watched. It felt like Sam (my son) had taken on the mantle of saying goodbye to his friend and seen it through.  Oh, how we missed her.