Thursday, April 08, 2010

Goodbye, Mystery. You were loved.

Last Friday, less than an hour before I needed to leave for the Good Friday service at church, Eldest came in from doing his chicken chores with a scared look on his face.

"Something's wrong with Mystery," he said. "She's curled up in the corner of the coop, and she's not moving."

Oh, no.

We have been so blessed in the last two years of chicken parenthood -- every one of the seven little chicks we brought home in February '08 grew into a healthy pullet, then hen. No sickness. Only one neighborhood dog invasion, from which all but Jackie Blackie escaped untouched, and she recovered quickly.

Mystery was our only Rhode Island Red. Sometimes she was at the bottom of the pecking order, being a little smaller and shyer than her Orpington and Rock sisters. But she laid more faithfully than any of them. She was also Eldest's favorite -- he named her.

When he came in with that worried look on his face, Scott and I hurried out to the coop. Our little red hen was curled up in a little corner of the chicken yard, against the garage and the fence, her head tucked down as if asleep. But she was not asleep.

Scott put her gently into a cardboard box, and the boys helped me dig a hole in in a shady spot at the back of yard, near the blackberry vines. They laid yellow flowers on top of the grave, and wept a few tears in my arms.

Eldest dreamed that night that Mystery was alive again. But, of course, there was no Easter for her, poor baby. Sadly, I have few pictures of her, since her sisters were the camera hogs, and Mystery preferred to stay busy on her nest.

You will be missed, Mystery!


The Maunderer said...

Sleep, sweet bird, in the land where you lived, embraced in the loving arms of the earthen soil. Wake, sweet bird, in the heavens, frolic as you wait, wait for your masters sweet, sweet face to be seen, seen once again.

MamaTea said...

So sad. :(
I hope that your boys will cherish the sweet memories of the hen who dodged the camera but faithfully did her work!! Chickens are so great with all their different personalities. You are right...Mystery will surely be missed.

Lift Up Your Hearts said...

Oh boy, that is so hard! I'm so sorry! {{{{{{{{{{{ }}}}}}}}}}}}

Lisa @ Life with 4! said...

oh, I know exactly how you all feel. We've lost some of our favorite hens to coon attacks. Not a pretty sight to see all those feathers scattered all over the chicken yard. My kids and I have cried a few tears over them.

we also lost one hen last summer to heat. She was such a good layer and didn't want to get off her nest and ended up suffocating in the hot hen house. that was a sad day too.

maybe your son can take a trip to the feed store and pick out another Mystery?

princessmama said...

I'm sorry :( We've had some sad moments this year and last due to fox attacks and also not all our chicks have survived chickhood. I feel for you.

Angel Muly said...

What a sweet story. Sorry for the lose though, love those kids!! Love, Angel

Anonymous said...

Poor Eldest! Poor Middlest! Poor Littlest! Poor all of you! That is soooo sad!

Jocelyn said...

Oh I'm sorry! :(

mandy said...

I'm so sorry about the loss of your sweet chicken.

Lisa said...

Aw! That's so sad!

Christina said...

Oh, it's so sad when that happens. As you know our kiddos were really sad when we lost our chickens. The girls are loving raising the eight chicks. We have seven more in the incubator. The chicks had their first day outside today as it was fairly warm for them. Looking forward to them being out with the rest of the group!

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