Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Demon Chicken Passes...

It happened. I didn't expect it. I wasn't prepared. I'm the daughter of a funeral director. Death is like my creepy sidekick. We're comfortable together. I understand Death... but sometimes I wish he could warn me just a little before he drops in.

I went out to feed the infamous Demon Chickens (if you've been around, you'll have read about my Demon Chickens before) and found Jemima dead, apparently the victim of a fox who was smart enough to wait out of sight until she stuck her head through the chain link in search of wayward bugs. It was quick, I'm sure, and because I'm not easily upset by gore, the body wasn't awful. Losing Jemima was the awful part. Watching Towanda sit beside the body was awful. Seeing Franklin try and protect the body was awful.

I know they're 'just chickens' but I love them. And they care about each other. Maybe on a chicken farm, the chickens don't have any attachment to each other. But my Demon Chickens do. I left poor Franklin counting hens and coming up short this morning. How do you explain Death to a rooster? Towanda has taken up a guard position where Jemima's body was lying against the fence. I know this is nature. Chickens are food. I just tricked myself into thinking I had fooled nature into passing us by. *sigh* At least I can be assured that Jemima didn't suffer, and that she had a better life than most chickens. Tonight (I had to work this weekend) I'll bury her under the white oak I grew from an acorn and next year I'll be able to look at it and think that some of the leaves are Jemima's.


  1. I'm so sorry you lost a friend; I had no idea that chickens were that protective of each other. This was a beautiful post in the wake of a natural tragedy. RIP Jemima.

  2. I'm sorry about your chicken. When we have any animal live with us, they become our pets, so we get attached. I

  3. Oh wow, I'm so sorry about Jemima and so sorry for all her friends. I had no idea that chickens grieved in this way. Thanks for sharing that. I'm sure Jemima did have the best life a chicken could hope for living on your farm though.

  4. Oh, I'm so sorry to hear it. Animals are funny the way they can worm their way into your heart. It seems chickens are no exception. How heartbreaking to watch the other chickens' reactions, too. :( I hope things improve for you the rest of the week!