I want to know. Are the poor decisions kids make out of innocent thinking or sheer ignorance? Take for example my sweet Addie, lover of chickens, worms, snails, slugs, tadpoles, horses, the color pink, Third Day Christmas songs, mud and stuffed animals. All-in-all what you would call a smart, cute, well-rounded child. Plays the piano, reads aloud well, signs her name in cursive (most of the time), paints…..charming really.
You may recall this incident from a post a few weeks back, Hell Week. These are the sordid details……
I go to water the chickens and I notice my precious pet chicken, Stripe-Stripe, is soaking wet, shivering and cold as ice. Immobile. I ask Addie “Do you know what happened to Stripe-Stripe?!” as I rush to her. Denial in her words but guilt in her eyes. So I ask again “DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO STRIPE-STRIPE?!” Tears. Confession “I put her in the water” she bawls, as I scoop up my precious, wheezing, coughing half-frozen chicken.
After many hasty prayers, a trip under the blow-dryer and a warm towel I settle in with her clinging to my chest with little clawed feet, still shivering, wheezing and sounding like death-warmed-over. I rocked and prayed over her until the shivering subsided, breathing warm breath under the towel with each rocking motion, trying to make the shaking stop, the red comb turn red again. It was awful.
I called Addie in who began crying and repeating between huge tears she wanted to apologize to Stripe-Stripe and to me and she was so sorry. I asked her what she did. “I threw her in the pond!” she sobbed. “Why?” I asked. “Because I wanted to see her swim!” she sobbed again “Chickens don’t swim” I declared. “Did she go under?” I asked. “Only a few times” said Addie. “Good Gawd” I was thinking to myself, it’s a wonder the poor dear made it out at all. And I can honestly say kids made horrid choices sometimes because I remember doing the exact same thing to a litter of kittens when I was about her age. They didn’t swim either. (They, like Strip-Stripe, lived however. In case you were wondering)
2.5 hours later my friend Amanda came over after providing moral support on the phone and brought medicine and listened to the lungs of my now warmed up chicken. The prognosis was good, the medicine she took well and as you can see, happily at home in the house. Because apparently the bathtub just wasn’t good enough.
I agree darling, you can sleep on my chair anytime.
Just don’t tell my husband, okay?
The next morning we have coffee in peace together. I think she would be an excellent house chicken.