Saturday, November 25, 2006


There's a empty place on the perch in the henhouse-on-wheels tonight. One of the Mrs Browns has gone to her final roost. She had become increasingly lame over the past fortnight until she was essentially a one legged hen and confined to quarters. Scratching for worms and grubs - an instinctive and reflex action for a bird had become impossible. The poor thing just fell over. Sounds funny. But no, not really.

So we did what I like to think was the decent thing (or rather Alan did) and ended her life. Don't we disguise our actions, especially when they are unpleasant, with comfy phrases? You can insert any euphemism you like for what we did - and lots of phrases come to mind, none of which actually involve the word kill or dead. 'Put her out of her misery' - I don't think 'misery' described her condition. 'Put to sleep' - hmm, not really. And has she gone before to 'A Better Place'? (see below)*

Two things: 1 -We didn't do it lightly and 2 - I think we made the right decision. Any thoughts?

And finally by way of eulogy: 'As hens go, she was a good 'un. Red of comb and wattle, bright eyed and glossy feathered. Never guilty of pecking her fellows. A good layer. RIP'

*Quite possibly - clucking amongst the 'choir invisibile' even as I write - but her mortal remains are at rest in the deep freeze.


Anonymous said...

How disappointed I am. I'd expected to be reading the gory tale of how your dog, Chester, tore one of your hens limb from limb. Blood splattering the borders of the raised beds and staining the pond red. However, have to move back into the real world.

mountainear said...

Sorry about that - we do have a couple of very dead and gory sheep lying in the hedge a few fields away. If you're that way inclined I could report on them....