I’d never realised that my house could be that quiet. Eerily quiet.
This morning I’m officially a woman without her chickens. Two remaining chickens were killed, possibly last night.
I saw feathers scattering around in their chicken run this morning. One dead chicken was under a bush. One was gone. The fox must have taken her for her babies. The fox would come back again for this one, so we decided to leave the dead chicken in the garden for the fox’s collection.
Once I realised I’ve now lost all our chickens — 5 in total, since last summer, I felt a sense of loss. Suddenly the complete silence commanded the house.
I hate to say that my second response to their killing was to blame someone. The first person I blamed was my long suffering husband. Why didn’t he lock up the chicken last night? Why? After a split second, I knew that it was illogical, unfair and uncaring as I should learn to stop blaming him for all the suffering in the world.
Then I blamed myself for not locking up the hens. Last week, our neighbour knocked on the door to inform us that he saw some foxes around. We had been warned. Our security should have been tightened up. We did check the chickens more carefully, for a few nights, locked them up dutifully at night.
However, the past few nights had been cold. I didn’t feel like going to the garden at night. My husband might have felt the same. We played the mind game. We lost our guard. And, the fox came, leaving a note saying, “thank you very much.” Now, I blame the English weather for the death of my chickens.
Keeping chickens carries a lot of responsibilities. Many interesting blog posts by one of my favourite bloggers, zeudytigre, carry some great advice. I’ve been thinking for the whole day today, “What if?” “What if I had checked on the chickens last night?”
My husband, being a mathematician, is more logical in his approach to death. He explained that nothing is fox proof, not even fashionable and strengthened chicken coops. He calmly explained that even if we had locked up the chickens, the fox could still have burrowed underground and grabbed them. The fox could have attacked them at any time of the day, when the chickens are out and about in the morning.
This is the end of my chicken saga.
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