Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Henny's Grave

Sooner or later chickens die (as do we all) and I have see my share of them.  This one happened right before my eyes......a natural death, though, which is much easier to take than the violence of the past.  I let the girls out the other morning and all seemed fine.  Then I heard a flapping of wings, turned around, and saw Henny flip over onto her back and die.  It must have been a heart attack, it was so sudden, and if there was any pain it was certainly brief.

In the past I have tried to minimize my involvement with death by treating the resulting body as a piece of trash.  This time was very different.  I decided to bury Henny. I considered putting her in a box, which turned out to be too small, and then a plastic bag.  By the time I had finished tearfully digging the hole outside the chicken pen, though, I had decided to bury her as I myself would like to be buried.  I placed her carefully in the hole, in the fetal position, and covered her with dirt.  Then I carried rocks from my garden to cover the grave, both to mark it and to protect it from animals.  I was uncharacteristically comforted by the act of dealing with her body myself.

This makes me wonder if I might consider bringing Lytton's ashes home at some point in the near future.  So far the idea of seeing him reduced to a pile of ashes has brought me to tears.  Even now, as I think of it, I feel them filling my eyes, tensing my throat painfully.  So I am obviously not ready yet, but I feel I have taken a big step.

So long Henny.  Good girl.


SusanF said...

I am sorry about your little chicken. It seems a blessing that you could see how quick she went so you wouldn't have to worry about how.

My husband passed in 2008 and he is in a box on the book shelf. We are going to carry out his wishes this coming October. It is hard, but there is time.

I just happened on your blog. My sister is also an artist so I sent her a link to you.

Looking forward to reading more.

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