Chickens, no more…

si smith, chicken

A couple of days ago something visited our backyard chickens and tore off their heads. Who knows what killed them; fox, pine marten, dog?

Will made the discovery on the way to school. Wet feathers in the grass. Blood. Death for no apparent reason. We humans invest so much in the animals we share spaces with. We give them human characteristics, personalities. And when they die, we rehearse a very human kind of grieving. Our chickens lived just outside the kitchen door (sometimes inside the kitchen door) and I keep finding myself looking for them.

But they were just chickens… we are sad for a brief moment and then move on. Still it leaves me wondering again about the world we are part of.

We promote ourselves to the centre of things, as if we humans broke this world and so each and every ripple in the smooth surface of celestial peace is down to the eating of that bloody fruit in the garden. Perhaps we did.

But perhaps too bad things just happen; sometimes for no reason. The world is light and shade. Grace and mindless violence. Chicken, and stoat. One can not really exist apart from the counterpoint provided by the other.

Meanwhile, after all the poultry inspired pontificating, I will be found in the supermarket, buying eggs.

By the way, the lovely image above was done by Si Smith of one of the said creatures in the flush of health…

Nellie the hen, snow

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