They Ate Bambi’s Mom

And now I’m wishing a big hole would open up and swallow Laylee’s. 

Me and my big mouth.

She did this to me, you know?  With the questioning.  Why? Why? Why?

I broke down.  I did and there’s really no use placing blame.

Whenever we get to the part of Bambi where the shots are fired from the grassy knoll and the absentee father is forced to be a man and live up to his responsibilities, I say, “Oh, wow!  This is the part when Bambi gets to hang out with his dad!”Â  That is all. 

Sometimes Laylee asks what happened to his mom and I resist going into a lengthy description of the process of making venison jerky by fire-happy hunters who now sleep on a mamma-Bambi-skin rug.  I just tell her roughly what Bambi’s dad tells her, “She had to go away.  Maybe she’s running errands.”

So this last time as we’re watching, we get to that part and I’m busy on the computer, probably enthralled by one of your dad-gum blogs when:

Laylee:  Is this the part where Bambi’s dad tells him what happened to his mother?
Me:  No.
Laylee:  Why?
Me:  Bambi’s dad will never do that.
Laylee:  Why?
Me:  Because he doesn’t want to tell him that someone ate his mom.
Laylee [stunned-end-of-the-innocence deer-in-the-headlights silence]
Me [shoving my foot deeper in my mouth]:  Well, the hunters were just hungry.  That’s why they shot her.
Laylee:  [no response]
Me:  We all eat animals.  You know when we eat chicken or fish or meat.  We’re eating little chickens or fishies or cows because we’re hungry.  It’s okay.  We just need to eat meat and so sometimes we do and the hunters were just hungry too and so they needed to eat something.
Laylee: [Can her eyes get any bigger and her mouth any smaller? Answer=no]
Me:  They just like deer meat and how it tastes so they had to eat something so they just ate Bambi’s mom.  It’s okay.  It’s not that big a deal.  We do the same thing all the time.

Once I got started, I just. Could. Not. Stop.  If she doesn’t end up a therapy-junkie vegan, chained to the front doors of a gun store one day, I’ll count my blessings.

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37 Responses to They Ate Bambi’s Mom

  1. Trivial Mom says:

    That’s too funny. Poor Laylee to have it broken to her that way, but oh so funny.

    Slightly off the subject . . . But why do kids movies allow characters to die? I mean, I know it’s writing whatever, but do the writers ever think about the poor parents that have to explain these things. I remember I was heart broken each and everytime Cinderella’s dad dies and she has to stay with that mean step-mother. Or when Simba’s dad is trampled by the antelope, that one always made me cry. (I must really like my dad, because those are the only two that really affected me . . .) Okay, sorry for the tangent.

    Good luck getting Laylee to eat her next non-vegan meal.

  2. Sketchy says:

    Oh my goodness! LOL!!! Well, she will never be able to claim you don’t tell her the truth…there’s something good about that isn’t there?

  3. meredith says:

    Laughing with sympathy over here. The line between answering kid’s questions and giving them too much information, is fine, very very fine. Vegan can be healthy 🙂

  4. Sarah Cool says:


    “Me: Because he doesn’t want to tell him that someone ate his mom.”

    That. Was. Amazing.

  5. Janet says:

    I am laughing. But I do feel bad. It’s so hard to stop once you get on a roll…I do it all the time and kick myself afterwards…

  6. I remember the time I had the exact same conversation with my daughter explaining to her the hamburger on her plate was the cute little cow she was so in love with. She smiled, she frowned, she cried and giggle, not believing a word I was saying. It was quite humorous.

  7. chilihead says:

    Aw, man! It’s hard out there for a shrimp. Havin’ ta learn da way uh da worl’ li’ dat.

    Just consider that as I was making Wild Thing her scrambled eggs this morning I’m saying, “Hey! Wanna mix up the chicken? See that yellow part?”

    Laylee and Wild Thing will probably live together on a commune and travel in a VW bus they made from leftover parts they find on the way to the therapist’s office.

  8. Oh man. Poor Vegan Laylee. Did she ever ask any more questions about it?

  9. Julie says:

    You. Did. Not! Poor Laylee. I’ll throw in a couple bucks for her future therapy, or the extra $$ you’ll need to cook vegan-organic!!

  10. melnel says:

    WoW! When you kill a myth, you hunt it down and blast it with a 10 guage. You gonna serve up the dead myth meat to Laylee for dinner tonight too? 🙂

  11. Tess says:

    bwahahahaaaa rofl poor baby

  12. Shalee says:

    I remember when my daughter realized that we eat meat and where we get the meat. She saw one of those great Chik-fil-A signs where the cow is wearing a sign saying “Eat Mor Chikn”. Once she asked why a cow would wear that sign and what it meant, she hesitated a moment and then busted up laughing. Whew. One vegan removed from our family.

    Cooking is so much easier if they just don’t ask questions. Or if they do, if you sway them to your way of thinking.

  13. Oops. I did that with Boy 2 when he asked why hamburgers were called hamburgers. Kinda spoiled dinner for him…

  14. Susan says:

    Nearly two years ago, Wade’s uncle passed away. We really struggled with what to tell the boys (Wade’s suggestion: “Don’t tell them anything. Wait until they notice!”). Finally, we decided to go with a Circle Of Life kind of thing, where we talked about how everything dies (plants! animals! people!) and while we were sad and would miss Uncle Paul, death was part of the natural cycle. Like the grass in our yard. You know.

    So we go through this whole thing, and I’m patting myself on the back for explaining death to my very small sons in a way that is understandable and not scary and Charlie, who was three, looks at me and says, “Okay, but Uncle Paul will come back in the spring, just like our grass, right?”


  15. Meagan says:

    And now I am wiping spewed Dr. Pepper off of my computer screen…

    So funny.

  16. Traci says:

    I can just picture her eyes getting bigger and bigger. So sad.

    But they were hoping you would get to telling the little children about the horrible hunters sometime. You should watch Pocahontas next.

    And now I just can’t stop my sarcasm…:)

  17. Last October, Andrew’s younger brother was killed in a car accident and we were faced with the prospect of explaining death to a 4 year old. For a long time he kept asking when Uncle Jonathan would get better and when he did could he come over and play trains with him like he used to? No matter how we tried, the concept wouldn’t sink in until finally he just stopped asking.

    On a lighter note, when my son first noticed the coincidence of having “chicken” for dinner and playing with the “chickens” at our neighbor’s coop (and by playing I mean chasing them mercilessly), he stared at me blankly for a few minutes after listening to my explanation. Then he asked if we could go see a “beef” at the zoo! Guess it didn’t bother him much!

  18. StephanieG says:


    I had a friend who’s son wouldn’t eat fish nor let his parent’s eat it for a LONG time after Nemo came out…He kept telling them “Fish are friends…not food.” TOO FUNNY!!!

  19. DavidR FLEF says:

    No joke, I learned (after watching with my daughter) what the story of Bambi was… it’s pretty awful ! For the last 30 years, I tought Bambi was this funny character who was playing in the woods with his friends the bunny.

    My wife explained to me Bambi’s mom went to the forest heaven.

    I’m still shocked and mad about it.
    grieving in Canada

  20. Mir says:

    “We do the same thing.”

    Yes, sometimes I’m hungry, and I eat someone’s mom. Right after I kill babies for sport. 😉

  21. Heth says:

    Have you told her that Santa’s not real and either is the Tooth Fairy and the Easter bunny? Might as well get it all out of the way in one day.

  22. KYouell says:

    Addressing the issue of why the writers would put it in, I think it’s a pretty old movie, right? Couldn’t it be that the writers grew up in the era where people were born and died at home and you raised critters at home that you didn’t give names to because you knew they would end up on your plate? Just a thought.

  23. Brony says:

    A the truth moments. You never know when they’ll sneak up on you, but they always do.

    I’m sure she’ll be fine.

  24. surcie says:

    This is why my boy won’t see Bambi or Dumbo until he’s, like, thirteen if I can help it. I’m sure I can’t help it.

    BTW, I want you to know, I’ve tried to say “smoochage” three times fast and have not been successful.

  25. abc momma says:

    Oh, well. She was bound to find out sometime.

  26. Forget Laylee – now *I* need therapy.

  27. Neila says:

    That is awesome! I’m still traumatized from seeing Bambi for the first time when I was 7. I maintain that the people employed at Disney have truly twisted ideas of children’s entertainment.

    I refuse to watch several Disney movies in my house so I don’t have to explain why I’m crying like a baby! This includes The Lion King, Bambi, Dumbo and Charlotte’s Web.

  28. bowersita says:

    Shoot, I remember crying my brains out for at least an hour that Elliot had to leave Pete and they didn’t get to be friends together anymore in Pete’s Dragon… no one even died in that one. My mother didn’t know how to console me.

  29. Around here we call that a “therapy moment”.

  30. Lisa says:

    We babysat a 5 children last weekend while their parents spent a weekend away. On Saturday night the kids wanted to watch the fairly new Disney “Eight Below” about the sled dogs survival in Antartica. When the first dog, Jack, dies the 5-year-old girl burst into tears. I had no idea what was going on and assumed that one of her older siblings was teasing her or something. In my attempt to console her all she could stammer out, amid tears streaming down her face was, “Jack died!” The heartache was so real it was quite sweet.

  31. Mama Darlin' says:

    My daughter told me after a very similar explaination, that those bad hunters should go eat bread. Is that like telling a surfer to pound sand?

  32. Stacey says:

    That is too funny! I remember the day my son finally got the idea that chicken nuggets and chicken breast come from chickens on the farm. He was so freaked out that he wouldn’t eat it for weeks. Now he’s fine with it and I don’t know if he just forgot or if he doesn’t mind it anymore. I bet she’ll be fine : )

  33. Heidi says:

    Jack dies?

  34. EmLouisa says:

    Greg and I are laughing hysterically. I had to read this one aloud. Thanks for the laugh at Laylee’s expense.

  35. Jennifer says:

    Poor Laylee. When she gets over the shock, be prepared for the questions. My 4-yr-old daughter is currently enamoured of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” She’s asked for us to sing it every night at bedtime for about a month. Then she goes through a list of random animals asking whether we eat them. “Are bats meat? Are horses meat? Are monkeys meat? Are deers meat? Are cats meat? Are fish meat? What happens to the fish to make it meat?” One night her comments made it clear that she thought the old lady died because she ate horse meat raw.

  36. Late late comment, I’m trying to catch up with 2 weeks of DYMiness.
    Poor Laylee, better start saving for therapy: you can buy a little piggy bank, start filling it up with money, at the end, you get to open it up, and go to therapy. It could be an object lesson, sometimes, you have to ‘kill’ an ‘animal’ to get something good.
    Just like some men wear stretchy pants…

  37. Julie says:

    I know I’m comminenting on this really late – but I got to this post via the current Disney princess discussion happening now in daddydaze and damomma…

    I’m a farm girl – I don’t remember a time when I DIDn’t know where meat came from, and it didn’t hurt me or any of my siblings. We grew up naming the calves in the barnyard and knowing full well that we’d eat them eventually. Really, it’s just a further extension of the “circle of life” concept. As long as the animals aren’t mistreated while they’re alive…

    I was, however, appalled at the A&W adds for their new (by this I mean when they were new years ago) chicken dishes on the menu – usually companies tend to avoid putting cute pictures of the animals on their packaging in order to avoid the “I just can’t eat the cute ___”. And here they were selling little stuffed animals of the cute “Chubby chicken.”

    While I realize that the subject needs to be treated carefully, I’m not sure that it should be avoided just because children are young. Why do characters die in Disney movies? ‘Cause creatures die in real life. We can’t avoid that, can we? In one episode of Friends, Phoebe leanred that her mother had protected her from this truth. She had been allowed to watch Bambi, but not that fatal scene. They had watched Old Yeller, but stopped before THAT scene. The episode consisted in part of Phoebe going back and rewatching the countless movies that her mother had edited. Do we really want to raise children to believe in such an alternate reality?

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