The Chute of Life
Well, the specter of death continues to hang over our animal endeavors. This year we have lost: three hens, two rabbits, a bird, and, most recently, three more hens. Some to natural causes. Most to foul play. Two were on their way out from the beginning (the baby rabbit we found in the shed and the broken little bird delivered by the Sears men with our new dishwasher). I am beginning to wonder. Is our home a place that animals come to die? I would like to think it is the circle of life, but it feels more like a one-way chute.
But I am fighting back! Last Sunday I came outside just in time to see our neighbor’s dog, Staniel, running through the yard with one of the Ellas in his mouth! She was squawking so pitifully. I chased him down and, screaming at Staniel, scared him into dropping the poor chicken. She lay motionless, but breathing, in the grass. A brief examination revealed a deep hole in her back and distinct lack of tail.
Thinking all was probably lost, I recalled Cousin Kate telling me that most wounds are super-glued together in the emergency room and you can use super-glue at home in a medical pinch. So I squirted her off with Dan’s contact solution, and began to superglue, topping it off with big globs of Neosporin for good measure.
Would ya’ll believe SHE LIVED! Life is circling back.
She was only available to Staniel in the first place, because, during our trip to Birmingham our next door neighbors, who were caring for our chickens decided they would be happier “free ranging” in the neighborhood rather than living within the confines of a coop. When we got home, our chickens seemed so happy frolicking around the various yards, that I was reluctant to re-coop them. But after a racoon attack killed three of them, and Staniel nearly killed Ella, in the interest of our investment they have returned to coop life. I feel so sad for them, but Dan assures me they would be much sadder being dead than living in our luxurious three story coop.
Below, Elizabeth, burying her little bird, Shiny, and placing petunias on his grave. Shiny lived just one hour in her care. But what a glorious hour it was!