It’s time to get this news out of the way.
We’ve lost two very prominent members of our flock.
First Simon, my beautiful painting chicken, Simon died last week. We had noticed throughout the summer that at times she seemed to be gasping for air but then every time I’d pick her up to check her out she’d be fine. At other times, she’d be lethargic one moment and then in another, she’d be up and about. She ate fine, drank water, and was active with the flock.
It’s just that something was a bit off about her.
The other morning we went to the hen house to let the chickens out and there was poor little Simon – she had died during the night.
Simon, if you recall, was our artist chicken. One day in a fit of boredom, my kids decided to use a chicken to paint a picture. Of course they chose Simon who was by far, the sweetest and most docile member of our flock. It was not unusual to find Simon in my lap when I was reading a book outside.
For the painting project, the kids held Simon, dipped her feet in paint and then created a work of art that was entitled “Feathered Fireworks.” The piece sold at auction for 300 dollars with the money going toward a local playground renovation fund. So basically because of Simon, kids get to continue playing.
How many chickens leave a legacy like that?
Our other lost flock member is Vivian, our cute as can be bunny. Vivian was the little bunny that Addy had to have. She was also the purchase that cemented my position as “best mom ever” (Not only did I say yes, but I went out and bought all the trappings any rabbit would ever need.)
Vivian didn’t appear to be sick, in fact the day before she died I gave her some fresh lettuce along with her food. And petted her incredibly soft fur. And quietly told her that she was a pretty baby.
Who knows why these flock members have died? It could be because they had an underlying illness and the cold weather (and yes it’s gotten COLD here in New Hampshire) has stressed their bodies to the literal breaking point, or it just might be that it’s their time. Some chickens and rabbits live for many years, others don’t.
It makes me not want to get any more flock members. It’s just too painful when we lose them.
But then I remember the joy and the memories we’ve had because we were fortunate enough to share in each other’s lives.
And in between the heavy sighs, I smile.