A pause like a sigh
Posted by joeabbott on July 9, 2011
I got home yesterday and looked out into the backyard and saw two chickens. This is not unusual in that, from our small flock of three, it’d be common for one to be on the nest box. But I knew there’d only be two today and felt a small but silent pause, not unlike a sigh, hold me in place. It recalled the first time I came home after having to say good-bye to Trout and knew, for the first time in years, she shouldn’t be at the door to greet me. Not nearly as painful, but “like”.
Yesterday was the first reckoning from having had a chicken die on us.
But then I went about the afternoon chores: feeding the cats, tidying up the house, and going out to collect the eggs, if any. And, yes, there was one. I emptied the water barrels, pet Trimble as he capered about, and pushed the dirt into a rodent hole with the toe of my shoe.
As I watched the hens in the yard, I saw they were doing the same thing I was: going about their day.
Without a sick bird in the flock, their routine seemed to resume a measure of normalcy: ranging the yard, finding equal measures of pleasure in sun and shade, and giving us eggs on a daily basis again. Even among chickens, life goes on for the living.
There was some comfort to be found in that but, when Suzy got home from work, we had a short discussion and I was off to the drawing board: designing a coop for some new chickens we’ll integrate into our flock.