Wednesday, August 10, 2005

"Well, the meds must be working because I can't imagine what you'd be like right now if they weren't," said Big Daddy. "You didn't hear me crying like a baby until I couldn't breath, " I replied.

Big Daddy is away on business in Virginia. Monkey and I are at home. We had a rather pleasant day up until dinner time. We were planning to go to my weekly dog training session in about an hour when I looked outside and noticed that everything was very quiet. No crowing. No gentle cackles. There were just lifeless forms littering the front yard. Minutes before I had seen the neighbor's German Shepherd. I ran down into the yard I found my little hen, Penny, mauled, but still alive. Then I found one of the Polish hens, then Jimmy, the Polish rooster. Next it was Stella, the Wyandotte and then one of my lovely Black Australorps. I broke down.

I called and called, and finally the survivors started to come out of the woods. First Mooney, the Hamburg rooster flew out of a tree. Then the two Australorps, Colette and Gigi, came out of the woods with Ruby, the Rhode Island Red and Rufus, the Wyandotte rooster. Next I could hear cackling in the woods and went in search of the others. Pruett and Beatrice, lovely Dominiques that they are, came to my voice and clucked nervously as I led them back to the coop. While leading them out through the underbrush I found my other Polish hen dead. I kept hearing a scared and nervous cackle from the far side of the creek and finally located Rosalind. It took an awful lot of calling to get her back. The two other Dominique hens, Heloise and Miranda, crept out of cover with Curly the rooster. Finally Jack, my favorite, came out limping slightly with almost all of his fabulous tail feathers missing. I'm still missing Blanche, the Wyandotte, and fear she is dead.

Penny's entire right thigh was basically skinned and she couldn't walk. I had to do the only thing I could and put her out of her misery. Considering how I had broken down earlier, I surprised how calm I became. It crushes my heart to think about it now, but at that moment I was filled with calm and reserve. I did it as quickly as I could and I hope she didn't suffer too much.

My nerves are completely shot right now. Although Big Daddy is probably right. Those little blue pills must be working because I didn't throw or break a thing. I managed to have a rather even-keeled discussion on the phone with the neighbor, who has offered to pay for the chickens. It won't bring them back, but I think he is genuinely upset as well. Who wants to think that their pet is a killer?

I am weak and couldn't seem to dig a hole big enough for six chickens. So tonight as it was getting dark I built a funeral pyre and laid the fallen comrades to rest on the flames. Perhaps I'm trying to find some humor to lessen my grief because I have to tell you that the smell coming fire was like a barbecue from heaven. I think I'll have myself a nice cold beer in their memory and head off for a warm bath. If you can, raise a toast to some sweet poultry whose lives ended way too soon. And I promise to keep a rather watchful eye on the survivors so that they may stay safe and healthy.


  1. Oh my God. I am so sorry. That just made me cry.

  2. Oh, Maggie. I am so sorry. :-(