Saturday, October 16, 2010

Getting Back in the Saddle

It has been a hard week since Wednesday night, but we are moving on, healing as best we can, each in our own way.

Gabby survived the attack with a hurt foot. She is coming down to eat in the late afternoons and seems to enjoy being talked to. Our dear friend-to-the-rescue (who swooped in with her husband Wednesday night to take care of everything as we ran around in shock) gave us her badly hen-pecked chicken, Henrietta. So far the two are on amicable terms but Henrietta is conditioned by bigger, bullying chickens, to stay up in the coop. She hasn't come down yet; this morning, however, she and Gabby are sitting side by side on the roost. Grace says Gabby was cooing. Perhaps these two injured birds will help each other heal? How's that for anthropomorphizing the whole situation to the limit?

Dave screwed down the side of the coop that the dogs knocked off. He took out a small loan from the bank and we had the fencing company come yesterday to give us a quote on finally replacing all our short, flimsy fences with 6-foot cedar fences. We bungied the heck out of the top of the coop and we watch it like hawks (well, hawks who aren't looking for an opportunity to home in on the chicken-ravaging business).

Samuel, who clearly hurts from the whole thing, but is doing it internally, worries every night about the chickens. He checks and double-checks the coop, the fence, starts up at every noise as he tries to fall asleep. He and Grace have a running discussion about what the girls are doing, where they are in the coop, have they eaten, etc.

Grace, who cried all Wednesday night (Dave got displaced as both kids snuggled tight on either side of me in our bed), has taken it upon herself to frequently check on the chickens. Like, every half hour. I finally asked her to give them a little time alone. When Gabby finally came down, Grace sat out there with her for nearly 45 minutes, talking to her, feeding her crabapples from the nearby tree. Our chicken-whisperer, as Dave calls her. At horse-riding Grace told Kid all about the incident because, as she told me, you can tell a horse anything.

And me? I had a great bout with sadness yesterday. I recognize that these are, after all, just chickens. And I know that I really took them to heart as pets, probably more so than I should. I don't have to go on about how I felt about them. This blog, which is supposed to document all aspects of our life, has come dangerously close to being called "Paean to Poultry". Part of me doesn't want to have anything to do with chickens until the spring, when we have our fences and the weather is milder. But our friend Chelee has wisely recognized that of all of us, I'm the one who most needs to get back in the saddle. Which is why we have Henrietta. And why I contacted the woman who sold us the President's wives. We have three new layers coming Monday night: a blue laced red wyandotte, a Rhode Island Red, and an easter egg chicken (no idea what this one will look like, but the eggs should be green or blue or something like that).

I'll post pictures when they finally settle in. And I'll leave the naming of them to the kids.

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