Our household has been very somber tonight.
Sometime between 3:30 pm and 3:45 pm, the neighbor’s dog massacred our chickens. Only two survivors remain.
As I write this, I direct my attention towards the front of the house, because the back of the house is a reminder that our backyard is now a haunted chicken graveyard as the mangled bodies lay motionless on the deck and feathers float in the evening breeze. It is too painful for me to gaze outside.
My sister was first upset, because each chicken costs approximately $30 to raise (electricity, food, baby chick fees, etc.) and that we would never see the monetary reward.
However, as we both sat and reminisced, we began to tell stories about the chickens and realize the impact they each had on our lives.
We recalled picking them up from the feed store over spring break, and we spent over an hour debating which chickens we should pick out. We remembered bringing them home in the box, holding them on our laps as we bounced down the back country roads, listening to their scared, rapid TWEET TWEET TWEETS. We talked about how cute they were as baby chickens, and the first time I actually ever picked one up. We remembered my dad building his infamous chicken coop (aka an outhouse) and the time I surprised the family with glow-in-the-dark spray painted “stars” on the front (which slowly faded and weathered away). We listened off all of our friends and their friends who were able to come out and view the chickens in their natural environment. We discussed how relaxing it was to sit on the deck in the morning and watch the chickens carelessly parade around the yard. We laughed at how funny it was to watch the dogs herd the chickens and how funny it was to watch the chickens run for their lives under the deck. We remembered all the early mornings we woke up to feed them (well, actually my sister and her boyfriend). We spoke about how proud we were that the chickens laid their first eggs last week, and how sad we were that those eggs were to never become again. And, we spent sometime discussing just how stupid the chickens were and trying to visualize the final death scene (like, if one of your friends was being killed, wouldn’t you try to run for cover?)
Suddenly, the $30 monetary value of the chickens became insignificant compared to all of these joyous times and meaningful memories we created together.
Tonight, we say farewell to our chickens (who didn’t have a name anyways because they would have probably been Thanksgiving dinner).
May you Rest in Peace.