yep, you read that right. just an hour or so ago, yet another chicken fell victim to dakota’s bloodlust.

this is big talk from me, considering that i just the other day defended her killing of my chickens because, after all, she is only an animal. it is her nature. she can’t help it.

and all that is true.

but she killed another one of my girls.

sigh.

this time was sort of my fault, because yet again, we/i have become too complacent about guarding the front door when it’s open. so i was going out with a plate of food for the chux balanced on the compost bucket and holding the door with one hand, which left no spare hands to restrain dogs- and truth be told i wasn’t even paying such close attention because dakota hasn’t tried to bolt lately…

so, i was doing the ungainly ballet, and out she darted, straight for the chux pile. they had the good sense to scatter, but like the predator she is, she honed in on the weakest link, and it was good-bye chickie.

i thought at first it was petunia, and the only reason i didn’t cry is that my 7 year old came to the door and started crying.

and my neighbors came out to see why their normally perfectly well-behaved dog was totally losing it (he was yelling at our dog who was clearly misbehaving).

and i was trying to be all tough farmer philosophical about it. like, “yeah, when you have animals these things happen. circle of life and all. you know.”

and inside, i was like, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH NOT PETUNIA GRANT!!!!!! NOT AFTER ALL SHE’S BEEN THROUGH WITH HER LEG!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT AFTER SHE FINALLY HEALED!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT WHEN *H IS AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT WHEN ALL MY BIG KIDS ARE BABYSITTING AND MY LITTLE KIDS ARE HOME SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

and i sat down on the ground and her eyes closed and i said to my neighbors, “i think she’ll probably die now.”

but i was feeling for a pulse and wondering why i don’t have any idea where a chicken’s pulse should be and trying to feel if her heart was beating and trying to look calm because i knew my little ones were watching me from the window. and it kind of occurred to me that if i was sitting in the middle of the driveway maybe i wasn’t really so calm, and there were like a thousand crows squawking all over the sky and i was like, “why couldn’t you have gone all psycho-crow on dakota instead of on me?” but then i realized that my neighbor was telling me that he heard them doing that from inside his house (yet another neighbor) and came out to see what the heck was going on- so the crows HAD been trying to protect a fellow member of the bird posse…

and then i carried her back to my house and laid her down on the lawn and dumped the food for the living chux and dumped the compost and went in the house to calm everyone down and went back outside to figure out where to bury petunia- only to discover that it was actually big mama who was killed and, having been partially shredded, seemed somehow deflated and had been masquerading as petunia g.

so, we will never know for sure if big mama’s eggs tasted like maple syrup. i like to imagine that she really was a granny who lived a long and happy life. i hope that she had many many years of bug-eating, free-ranging, roost-ruling, glorious days. i sort of wish i had taken a photo of her with a little tiny bandana tied underneath her little tiny chin, but as long as we are on the subject of chicken apparel, i’d like to segue from a sad topic to a happy one.

grant (the real one, not the chicken one) had posed a question about petunia grant’s post-leg injury wardrobe, and i told him i would put it up for all of you. since i’ve had about all the mopey-ness i can handle for one night, i am going to re-post his query here so you all can take a stab at it. remember that i said that she has a leg that always juts out to the side, like a ballerina pointing her toe, waiting for her solo. i said that it makes me want to dress her in a tutu. that inspired this comment:

You can’t really put a tutu on a chicken, it would embarrass the Chick in front of her friends.  And chickens can’t wear hats or boots, so what to do?!  How to turn her disability into a fashion asset?  I’m thinking …… Maybe you should post the question so more imaginative readers than I can have some input on this important issue.