Among his many stuffed-animal friends, GZ (5-year-old cutie pie, in case you haven’t been paying attention!) has two little leopards – Lucy and Donna. And in the origin myth he has created for these two, they are still both young children: Lucy’s around 6 or 7 and I believe Donna is around 3. And they’re from Israel.
Which I thought was very cool, until he told me their parents died before they came to Canada.
Today, walking on Shabbos, he told me more about them (I try not to pry or ask leading questions)… apparently, they were out grocery shopping when the parents accidentally went onto a battle field. And were killed, perhaps instantly. So now these two leopard sisters (who are stuffed animals, and do not look at all alike except for both being leopards) live alone together in Canada. Lucy takes great care of Donna, dropping her off at daycare every day so she can do her other little-kid things. They are both silly critters, playing together, having adventures with his other friends; so carefree, orphaned so young.
He tells me the whole story so, SO cheerfully. He doesn’t seem to associate Israel with war, and seems to feel entirely happy about the prospect of moving there. Not that he has any clue what “moving there” actually means.
And yet my heart breaks for the lost innocence of these poor leopard children and my young son who may discover he is not entirely far from the truth.