Slice of Life: Day 5

sick chick

See You Around, Old Gal

The way I greet most mornings, coffee cup in hand, is with a brisk walk out to the chicken coop.  A crisp air and a gentle wind gets my blood flowing  as I make my way  toward the hen house.

Today, as I walked out there, I gave my usual call:  Chic chic chic… chickens!  It is really a ridiculous call, but I give it because I love the Pavlovian way the hens react.  They start stirring and clucking because they know I’m coming  with veggie scraps.  Those big mama hens love their left over bread slices and their strawberry tops.

Once I threw the bits of bread and zucchini into their yard, I looked around closely.

“All seems well here,” I note to myself.

Then, I count:  one, two, three, four…. nine.  No, there’s eight.  Oh no! There should be nine.  Now, a short roll call in the morning usually means that all is not well in the hen house.  It means that either one has flown the coop or kicked the bucket.

As I scanned along the feeding area, I saw her.

“Oh no!”

Now, Buffy has been the sweetest hen and a mighty layer, but she had been recently sick.  She was laying on her side, eyes closed.  I picked her up gently.

“Now look at you, Buffy,” I said as I gathered her into my arms.

Her feathers were matted and she had food crumbs on her back.

“This is no way for you to go out of this world!”  I said quietly.
Then, I spoke to her in a soothing voice and brought her inside to the warmth of my laundry room, the whir of washing machine filling the room.

I always figure I owe a little dignity to an animal that has served my family well for many years.  I wouldn’t want her out there getting trampled and pricked.  Pecking order is hell in chicken land!

Inside I made her a cup of antibiotic tea, and sat her down in a paper lined sink, knowing she wouldn’t make it past noon.

She didn’t.

She was a good lady, a good chicken lady that is.  I hope the tea, the chat and the snug paper nest gave her a sense of our appreciation for her good works.

See you around, old gal.




8 thoughts on “Slice of Life: Day 5

  1. Excellent as usual Angie. So sorry about Buffy. Hey, I know it’s a typo, but I knowbyou’ll want to know you have ” since” where mean to have “sense” . . .

    Blessings of the fast . . .


  2. Nice slice. There’s a nice rhythm to the voice in your writing. Serves the story well, and does a lot for the audience. Thanks for sharing, and for the smile. Just love the title.


  3. My grandmother raised chickens but I was too small to remember much more than the clucking when we came near. I am sure she loved her chickens. I can certainly tell that you do. Your post is so heartfelt. I am sorry about the loss of Buffy. When I read your posts, I feel like we are having a conversation over a cup of tea. Thank you for sharing your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s always something going on with chickens: a molt, a sickness, a predator. Urban chicken farming is never boring!
      Do you have chickens where you live?


  4. I had gotten behind in my reading of emails and blogs, and finally, am taking time to catch up on yours. Picked up with your Slice of life series. This one really does show your care and appreciation for your critters. I have enjoyed all of them so far. I am coming up through them from One. Keep up the challenge. Should have done this last month. There were 3 less days. 🙂
    Love, Aunt Lee

    Liked by 1 person

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