While in Singapore, I received an abrupt email from my husband. One of our chickens was DEAD.
“Got some bad news I’m afraid. A chicken has died. I’ll give more details if you want.”
HOW? Killed by a fox? Died of the heatwave? WHY? We only lost one chicken late last year. WHICH chicken — the black one called Fireball or the ginger one called Talon?
You see, our chickens have names. Ben gave them names. Because the chickens have got names, they’ll never become Sweet and Sour chicken, Kung Po chicken, BBQ chicken or Sunday roast chicken on our table.
The dead chicken was the Black one, Fireball. While I was urgently pressing for more details, Hugh revealed more: “our neighbour’s dog got into our garden and grabbed her. No injuries – the dog was just playing – but I think the shock killed her.” Hugh added our neighbour was very sorry and will pay for a new chicken.
One beautiful afternoon 2 weeks ago, I went to collect some eggs in the garden as usual. I saw Fireball calmly trying to lay egg. She looked so sweet, I thought. I grabbed my camera and took this photo. I then closed her door to give her some privacy. I didn’t expect this picture would be her LAST picture.
A few minutes after the above photo was taken, I asked Ben to collect the eggs. I took this picture.
I phoned my husband today desperately to get the full story about the chicken, but he was out with another neighbour buying some new chickens. When I finally got to speak to him again, he told me when the neighbours came over to find their dog in our garden, they witnessed Fireball was in the dog’s mouth — the dog was playing with the chicken, apparently, possibly swinging her around for a bit.
Fireball was still breathing when the dog dropped her, but not breathing for long afterwards.
Hugh spent his Sunday afternoon buying two new chickens. He sent me an image of our new chickens. When I rang again, Hugh was surrounded by neighbours — the owners of the dog and their children, another family who has helped with the purchase of new chickens.
I’m still trying to recover from the shock of the loss of Fireball. You may say, it’s only a chicken, only a pet. It’s ok.
It’s not ok. It’ll take me a while to recover. I’ll miss my girls terribly.
When you go on holiday, you make sure that the plants are watered, letters are collected, pets are fed. Yet, I couldn’t have envisaged an over friendly dog being a threat. Losing a pet is sad. The whole event was bewildering.