Mummy’s Dr Dolit­tle

My boy res­cues all crea­tures great and small

Chat - - Contents - By Kim­ber­ley Brewser, 34, from Swin­don

My son Hadley, 1, crawled across the car­pet and pat­ted our pug Dave on the back.

Dave gave him an af­fec­tion­ate lick, then plod­ded off. Bless! I thought. Hadley was only a baby but I could tell how much he loved an­i­mals.

We had two cats – Bear and Tazz – and he loved stroking them, as well.

Me and his dad were an­i­mal lovers, so Hadley was a chip off the old block.

As Hadley got older, he was for­ever out in the gar­den.

He’d watch the birds in the trees and squir­rels frol­ick­ing on the lawn.

It wasn’t just cute crea­tures that Hadley adored, though.

He loved find­ing creepy crawlies, too.

But Hadley never dis­turbed them.

‘Mummy, look!’ he’d say, point­ing to a snail at the end of the gar­den.

He didn’t want to hurt the bugs by pick­ing them up.

He was happy just ad­mir­ing them.

Then, one day when he was 3, we were out walk­ing when Hadley sud­denly screamed.

‘STOP!’ he shouted to a woman walk­ing in front of us with a pushchair.

Then he rushed ahead, crouched by a snail on the path.

‘You were about to crush the snail,’ Hadley told the woman po­litely.

My heart melted as he picked up the lit­tle crea­ture and moved it out of harm’s way.

My lit­tle tot was pas­sion­ate about car­ing for an­i­mals.

I was ve­gan, and I’d brought up Hadley as ve­gan, too.

And, as he got older, he un­der­stood why it was im­por­tant to us.

I started ex­plain­ing to him what was in cer­tain food.

‘Nuggets are made from chick­ens,’ I told him hon­estly. Hadley frowned. ‘Poor chick­ens! That’s mean,’ he said.

He loved all an­i­mals, and it up­set him to know that they were killed for meat. Then, in early 2016, I de­cided to take Hadley to a lo­cal an­i­mal sanc­tu­ary called Goat­acre Farm.

They res­cue all sorts of an­i­mals, in­clud­ing pigs, goats, chick­ens, sheep…

Hadley couldn’t con­tain his ex­cite­ment as we wan­dered around.

‘Mummy, I want to cud­dle them all,’ Hadley beamed, point­ing to the fluffy lambs.

He got to bot­tle-feed them and also hand-fed the chick­ens. He was in his el­e­ment. I con­tin­ued tak­ing Hadley to the sanc­tu­ary when­ever I could.

He loved it, but when­ever we came home he seemed a bit up­set. ‘What’s up?’ I’d ask. ‘I’m scared bad peo­ple will hurt the an­i­mals when I’m not there,’ he cried.

Bless him, he just wanted to pro­tect them all.

‘They’re safe at the sanc­tu­ary. They’ve been res­cued,’ I told him.

But it didn’t stop him from wor­ry­ing.

Then, last Oc­to­ber, I thought about rais­ing money for the sanc­tu­ary. Hadley loved the idea. ‘I re­ally want to help the

He picked up the snail and moved it out of harm’s way

an­i­mals,’ he beamed.

The next day, he came to find me in the liv­ing room, clutch­ing a piece of pa­per.

‘I’ve drawn a pic­ture,’ he said, hand­ing it to me.

It was a doo­dle of a mon­ster in dif­fer­ent­coloured crayons.

‘Do you think peo­ple will buy my draw­ings so that I can give the money to the an­i­mals?’ he asked.

It was such a sweet ges­ture, my heart was burst­ing.

‘I think that’s a won­der­ful idea,’ I told him.

I wanted to en­cour­age him, so I set up an on­line fundrais­ing page.

And I ad­ver­tised Hadley’s draw­ings, ex­plained what a good cause we were rais­ing money for.

Slowly but surely, peo­ple be­gan do­nat­ing and buy­ing Hadley’s pictures.

‘It’s a Hadley orig­i­nal,’ I winked to friends who pur­chased them. Hadley was so proud. And chuffed to bits when we raised over £300. Hadley is 4 now and his love for an­i­mals just grows by the day. He’s al­ways ask­ing me to take him to Goat­acre Farm. He even had his birth­day party there last April. His com­pas­sion for crea­tures never ceases to amaze me. Re­cently, when he found a dead worm on the pave­ment, he was so up­set. ‘Mummy, we need to move him so no­body else treads on him,’ he cried. And when they found a spi­der at nurs­ery, his teacher told me all the other kids were scream­ing... Ex­cept Hadley. ‘Don’t be scared! Lit­tle things still mat­ter!’ he’d told them. He tells me he wants to open his own sanc­tu­ary when he’s older. But not just for fluffy bun­nies and chick­ens. ‘Snakes and croc­o­diles need res­cu­ing, too,’ he told me. I’m be­yond proud of my boy. He’s a mini David At­ten­bor­ough in the mak­ing!

It up­set him to know that an­i­mals are killed for meat

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