Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Sometime last night we became a one hen household. I was asleep, Smokey was asleep, and my hens were asleep. But out there in the urban wilderness, a raccoon was not asleep. And my big Buff Orpington hen is now buried at the foot of my apple tree. She did not get the quick death that I had intended for her, eventually. This morning there was a trail of feathers from the henhouse to behind the shed, and HennyPenny was all upset, running up and down in the chicken yard. Fearing the worst, I looked in the narrow space around the shed and found the body. I don't blame the raccoon, they are just creatures living their lives. I'm trying not to thrash myself, though I apparently forgot to shut the chickenhouse door last night, so can rightfully blame no one else. We live in a world where we are not the only predator, and my moment of irresponsibility had fatal results. Thankfully, my friend Rois was home, and offered to come and help me, since I was not sure how best to remove the "evidence" (a number of the neighbor children like to walk down the alley and watch the chickens) Rois was able to wiggle between the fence and the shed, while I had dug a deep hole at the foot of the espalier apple for Henrietta. We found a large flat green rock in the backyard to place atop her grave. I shall certainly be more careful about making lockdown the chickens a part of the evening routine, and I may move the henhouse closer to the house, when I enclose the side of the backyard for a new chicken run.