The Star-Crossed Chicken Family (Day 3)

Protective mother Tragedy

a true story

My presence makes the little bantam hen nervous. She hides a dozen new babies behind her body as I try to take a picture.

Such a good mother!

The chicks chirp excitedly when I scatter mashed grain into the pen. Then I sit down in a lawn chair to rest and watch them eat.

A noise startles me, so I look up.

Two stray dogs bark while running back and forth on the outside of our chain-link fence. One small tan-colored guy finds a low spot in the dirt and slips beneath the wire. The larger brown one does not have enough room to follow and growls menacingly through the mesh.

A chicken squawks in distress! To my astonishment, the tan mutt grabs our beautiful bantam rooster and then drags the flailing lump of feathers beneath the fence. I stand helpless, watching the animals escape into the distance.

By the time I stumble out of the gate, the culprits are long gone. I don’t know who owns the animals, so I walk up and down the streets, hoping to find our little rooster. I make a lot of noise, trying to bring neighborhood dogs out to bark at me as I pass. But the guilty guy is probably holed up somewhere enjoying his stolen treasure.

Finally, I give up and go home. I plop down into the same lawn chair with a sense of loss.

MomChicks_032615dThe mother hen chirps contentedly at her brood. One tiny chick peeks out between white feathers but disappears again when he decides to finish his nap.

 

Life isn’t fair!

The sweet hen always walked around the yard with her star-crossed mate. What will she do now? And what about the babies?

I sigh.

They are still a family without the rooster. The mother hen will take good care of the babies. They will go on.

. . . but my heart is broken.

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