Aw, man. The second I hit "publish" on that last post, Mr. Moon called to me from out in the back yard where he'd gone to put the chickens up for the night.
"Miss Bob is dead," he said.
I went out there and sure enough, the sweet old hen was laid up on the corner on the straw-covered ground, dead as she could be. I had noticed her earlier today, just sitting by the hen house which was unusual but I didn't think anything of it. She didn't have any marks on her, didn't look like anything had killed her. She just died of old age, I guess.
She was one of my original chicks whom Kathleen had brought me five and a half years ago. She looked like a quail, as you can see from that picture above, so we named her Miss Bob for bob quail.
One of the original sister-wives.
But I just wanted to pay her a little tribute. She's been a fine hen, neither the pushiest one nor the shyest. But part of the little flock of chickens who, during some of my darkest, most anxious and depressed days, soothed me and gave me some pleasure when pleasure was sorely lacking.
And of course eggs.
That's her on the left.
It makes me happy to think that she got to the place where all of the chickens go for safety and rest every night before she died. She didn't make it to the roost, but she found a cozy corner to lay down in, to let go and fly on to wherever it is that chickens go when they take flight from this life. Mr. Moon buried her and so she is laid to rest.
May there be watermelon without end in chicken heaven.
We'll miss you, Miss Bob. You were a damn fine hen. And you helped make me a chicken mama and realize that chickens had been missing from my life and that I needed them far more than they needed me.