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.
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.
I love you Stripe-Stripe.