To Love

They say to have loved and lost is better than to never have loved at all.  Today I am not so sure.  Yesterday morning I awoke to let out my chickens into their courtyard, aka run, for the day.  I immediately noticed Stripe-Stripe was not among them.  I knew in my heart she was gone but still searched, called and wandered about, hoping in vain I’d see her little, perfectly formed shape, running to me.  Her little clawed feet,tap tap tapping closer and closer.  Her ‘brawk,brawk,brawk,brawk’ in response to my ‘what, what, what, what’. I finally sat down, tears rolling down my face as I bawled in a very loud, unattractive and pitiful way.  As a matter of fact I’ve been crying on and off for over 30 hours now.  I finally found some feathers, she was less then 12 feet from the coop.  Almost to safety.  Almost home.

This was the chicken, who from the day I brought her home, loved people. The first time she flew on my shoulder I almost had a heart attack. She flew on my husbands head a short while later. I kept thinking she would grow out of her friendliness but no. She was a lover of people through and through.  She would come in the house, the barn, the car.  Oftentimes as I scratched her head, right behind her comb, she would fall asleep there in my lap.  She would run to me as soon as I got home each evening, her little feet beating madly against the ground until she reached me.  I guess it is a little silly to fall in love with a chicken.  But I am a little silly I suppose.

stripe

I wonder to myself, should I have made her stayed cooped up all day, every day?  Would limiting her freedom for my pleasure be the right thing?  Or, if I had never let her roam free would she have been just as happy, not knowing the difference?

I wish I knew the answer.

In the meanwhile I will grieve.  And I will bury the few feathers I have left next to the last creature I loved fiercely, Belle, my golden retriever.  They shall be there in spirit together.  And if God is loving, and I know he is, they will be waiting on me in heaven.

stripe 2

I love you Stripe-Stripe.

15 thoughts on “To Love

  1. Rachel, I’m so very sorry to hear about your beloved Stripe-Stripe. My heart aches for you! I am an animal lover, too. I also believe that all animals are sentient and have souls. I have loved reading your posts about Stripe-Stripe and even shared them with my husband. Stripe-Stripe had a wonderful life, running around in the fresh air, catching bugs, and eating grass. I know how much you loved that little chicken, and I also know you’ll see her again one day. Thinking of you! xo

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      • You’re welcome. I’m glad my words were helpful, and I certainly understand the sentiment about farm life. It’s normal to grieve about losing something you loved. I’ve cried about sheep and chickens as well as other beloved family pets. It doesn’t lessen your experience, because it was a farm animal. Grief is a process. I loved all of the wonderful pictures of Stripe-Stripe. Maybe you could make a little scrapbook of photos and memories to remember her. Just an idea. Take care!

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  2. So sorry! After losing my best friend of 14 years, Sam the dog, I can totally feel your grief! Whether dog, cat, chicken or whatever little creature we have it is so hard to part with them! My Sam was my soul mate and could read me like a book! I know Stripe Stripe had a heart for you & I’m gonna miss her too even though I only saw pictures of her but your wonderful stories and pictures of her made her special to all of us who read your posts! Such a wonderful little feathered friend! God bless you Rachel!

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