Today I was playing Minecraft.
And I have this mod now that gives you a wonderful variety of animals. You can make some of the animals your pets. What this really means (for the most part) is you get to name the animal.
Why is it so fun naming things?
Anyway, so I've named animals after characters in my novel. I've also named them after old family pets.
Today I decided to start naming animals after Australian Prime Ministers.
I fed a goat some wheat seed and he became mine. Then he became Edmund Barton.
Edmund Barton started heading in the same direction as me. He ended up trapped in some deep water rapids. I tried to save him. The problem is the physics of Minecraft water confuses me. I ended up trapping Edmund Barton even more, and he drowned. It was horrible. He made this heart-breaking sad squealing noise just before passing over into Minecraft heaven.
He bequeathed me his hide of leather which is very useful to me because I can use it to make books, and books are quite useful in Minecraft.
Of course that made me feel really conflicted. Guilty. My pet died. It's kind of my fault. And here I am being rewarded for it. I tried to make myself feel better by remembering that I was actually trying to save Edmund Barton. It's not like I saw him drowning and just walked away. Although maybe he would have saved himself somehow.
Sometimes good intentions can be deadly.
To avoid mourning too deeply, I imagined maybe Minecraft animals have the same fate as Minecraft players. In Minecraft, death isn't the end. You're simply reborn. You respawn and find yourself back in your bed.
Maybe Edmund Barton re-spawned into a new goat. Or maybe he's something new now, like a rabbit or elephant.