It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon.
Madeline was going to be home from school in an hour.
And I thought it the perfect opportunity to let the ladies out for a supervised stroll ’til dusk.
I was wandering in and out of the house checking on Berkley while she napped.
I remember stopping by the windows, watching them roam the yard and thinking to myself, ‘what a joyful, peaceful vibe they add to the yard’…
When Madeline got off the bus, we went down for a visit and she noticed one group must have wandered down the hill or into the woods.
The moment I saw Charlotte (one of the hens) up in the tree, I knew something was wrong.
As we came to the clearing, there were feathers scattered everywhere.
In less than an hour, 5 of our girls were gone.
I take my job of keeping everyone safe and happy pretty seriously, so you can only imagine how I felt…I thought I was doing a good thing by letting them forage and having a bit more freedom, but it was more like I had just released them to the wolves.
The look on my daughter’s face was unforgettable and I lost count of the number of times I repeated “I’m So Sorry”….I felt entirely responsible. This was not what I intended my sweet girl to come home to after school, that’s for sure. I even felt bad for having our dog tied up on the leash at the time. She knew something was wrong down in the woods and wasn’t able to do anything about it.
The bright light at the end of this dark post however, is that we found ‘Betty White’ (one of Maddie’s favorites) bunkered down in some tall grasses…She was alive, but injured.
Our incredible vet agreed to look at her and ended up stitching the large bite wound on her chest shut and gave her a 50/50 chance of survival. She’s proven to be a tough little bird and I’m happy to report she is back to being the ‘leader’ and doing absolutely fantastic.
We searched the woods for other ‘miracles’ that day and the days to follow but finally accepted the rest were gone.
Lots of tears were shed that evening.
Endless talks of nature and the cycle of life.
We’ll never know what the culprit(s) was/were, but I do know that they will only be allowed to range where they are ‘safe’ and ‘protected’. So if you ride by our house and see covered runs scattered about the yard, you’ll know why.
I know to most, they’re ‘just chickens’, but Madeline has developed such a wonderful relationship with them all, it was incredibly sad to watch her lose so many, so fast.
And I’m not gonna lie…I too was a bit disturbed by it all.
Cheers to life lessons and how they affect the days that follow.