Alys: Hey girls, how are you all doing?
Chickens: We are doing okay.
A: Just okay?
C: We function as a flock. And two days ago, we lost one of our flock.
A: That’s right, Louise died in my arms.
C: You made sure she was really dead, didn’t you?
A: I could tell by her eyes. They were shut.
C: We close our eyes all the time.
A: And her neck went limp.
C: A sure sign of death.
C: What did you do with her body?
A: I put it in the pit.
C: The pit?
Chickens on the roost
A: We dug a huge hole for the animals who are no longer with us physically.
A: Rover the Goat and Stormy the Goat are buried there.
C: What do the horses think about having this pit next to their enclosure?
A: They pay it no mind.
C: They will when one of them dies.
A: I don’t like the way this conversation is going.
C: Well, then change it.
A: Okay. Spring is on the way.
C: Well, the days are getting longer.
A: Yes. And soon it will get warmer. And you will be able to hang out in the
beautiful coop that Pete built.
C: It has way more light than the old coop.
A: And it’s a lot roomier.
C: Louise would have liked it.
A: Yes, it’s life’s greatest unfairness, that she didn’t make it until spring.
C: We told her to hang in there, but she didn’t listen.
A: I’m not sure that it had anything to do with listening.
C: What was it then?
A: She was the oldest of you all. I estimate that she was at least eight.
C: Is this old for a chicken?
A: Yes. And when a creature gets old, they die. But I will tell you all this. I used to believe in the Grim Reaper – death, he appears in a black hooded cloak, carrying a scythe, and supposedly takes all creatures away.
C: Even chickens?
A: Yes. Even chickens.
C: Where does he take them?
A: No one knows.
C: Sounds akin to the sky falling.
A: But I no longer believe in the Grim Reaper. I now believe that an angel comes and takes the souls of all creatures to their next destination.
C: That’s quite lovely. How come we didn’t see this angel?
A: Because you didn’t know she existed.
C: And did you see her?
A: No, because this happened so quickly. You have to be focused at the moment of death. Me, I was crying.
C: Chickens don’t cry. But we do grieve.
A: Do you also have moments of happiness?
A: Like when?
C: When its warm out and we are getting a dust bath.
A: Yeah, it sounds preferable to a snow bath.
C: You got it.
A: Yes I do.
C: Well, you needn’t worry about us. We are doing quite well.
A: And so then, together we will celebrate the arrival of spring.
Next: 30. 1/30/22: Out we Go