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.
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Janet, Sorry to here about your precious Fireball. He will be missed.
Thanks Cindy. Yes, Fireball was a beautiful girl — just look at her fluffy feathers — glorious under the sun.
Janet, I totally understand how you feel, our family had a similar experience several years back. It was a horrible experience not only to our kids, who were so attach to them – 2 adorable dwarf bunnies (white fur with red eyes) – but also to me. I agree with you that it’s NOT ok, but I am sure you will recover soon 🙂
Your post has inspired me to write something about our experiences, check it out after I’ve post it. Enjoy your stay in Singapore 😀
Thank you for your message and empathy — it was such a huge shock to me, especially as I’m thousands of miles away. I’ve made many overseas calls just to talk about Fireball. However, if I witnessed the dog ‘playing’ with my girl, I would have…..
My husband has quickly bought 2 more hens, but it takes time to bond with new pets.
I look forward to reading your story. Thanks for your message again.
Hi Janet, just want to let you know, I did start to work on the story of my similar experience since I left you the comment, but I have realised it’s very difficult to finish – the length of the story; the content of the story and mainly the pain I felt back then has returned while I was typing the post. So, I think it may take much much much longer than I first expected to finish it. But I will finish it, that’s my promise.
Hi Janet, since I’ve just left you a comment to your new post, I might as well let you know I have not forgotten about my will to write about our similar experience, actually I have started the post, it has been in my DRAFT (I have 6 different drafts!!!), but I just can’t continue.
Even though it happened few years ago, but the pain is still there and whenever I put myself back to those days, I just feel the pain all over again.
But no matter what, I will have it published, one day…
I know it’s terrible to recall such a sad story. My hens that died were the first ones that we bought — first love is always more special, isn’t it?
I’m still upset about what had happened, but I’ve learnt to accept it and love my new chickens.
Thanks for sharing your sadness with us. Let me know when you’ve written it. Take care!
Hi Janet, Happy New Year!
After nearly 16 months, I have finally fulfilled one of my promises to you – I have just posted the story of our 2 dwarf bunnies.
oh no. That’s really sad. Pets are still part of the family. Hope the new girls settle in quickly and you learn to love them too xx
Keren, yes, the girls are settling ok, thank you. My husband has reported that he has one little egg from one of the girls already. Hens are very entertaining and they make good company.
Hope Ben not too upset upon hearing this tragedy!! R.I.P. Fireball…
Ben seems ok, but I’m the one who needs a bit of TLC, ok? Ben has named the new chicken — Fluffball and Redwing. What a tragic death!
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Thanks for commenting on my blog – I am getting used to this kind of casualty – so so sad though.
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