Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Death in the Family
Charlotte was murdered.
I got a text while we were away in Panama City last Sunday from my mother in law saying simply, "an animal got in the coop and took Charlotte. We found her past the fire pit dead. I never heard any squawking..."
I was stunned. Then I felt truly awful. We wrapped that coop up on all sides and even buried chicken wire under the dirt to keep intruders at bay. We know there are coyotes and hawks in our area and thought our precautions were sufficient. Our neighbor has told me multiple times that a black cat prowls around the coop eyeing the girls, but I've never considered that a cat could bust through our defenses.
We have no idea who the murderer is and can only assume that they are still at large.
Bless their hearts, my mother in law, sister in law and a friend of theirs kept the kids occupied (they told the Squirt Charlotte ran away) while they reinforced the hole in the chicken wire, cleaned up all Charlotte's golden feathers and disposed of the um, er...body.
This was nowhere in my instructions left for them on how to care for the kids and the house while we were away.
I have wondered how it would be when one of the girls finally died (of old age was my assumption). Would it be like when a beloved family dog dies? Would we have a little ceremony and bury them in the backyard? In fact it was nothing like that at all. Granted we were out of town, but I'm fairly certain we would have dealt with it similarly to my MIL and would NOT have buried her in the backyard for fear that Predator #1 would return and dig up the body. There was no ceremony and not a single tear shed in fact.
I have actually found myself thinking, "I'm glad it was Charlotte and not Hester, she laid way less eggs." (I know, terrible, right? But maybe my farming ancestry is coming back to me...survival of the fittest and all...)
So we're on the hunt for a new occupant for the Tyson Corner coop. This time we're looking for an Easter Egger (they lay blue or green eggs, sometimes even pink).
In lieu of flowers or cards, the family humbly requests you share a favorite memory of the girls or a favorite egg recipe in their honor.