Tuesday, October 25, 2005

One headless chook may be funny... but three is no joke.

Saturday morning and the usual chores, feed the cats, put bird seed out for the cockatoos and lorikeets, feed the chooks.

We were getting low on chook food and I made a mental note to get some more. As we were in the early stages of planning for our trip to Morocco next year, Suzanna and I had been debating what to do with our three beautiful chooks. Her suggestion was that we took them across the border to the Northern New South Wales town of Mullumbimby and give them to a friend.

It was not to be.

Arriving up in the back garden, I was greeted by an unusual silence. There was no chorus of approval from the chooks, no running waddle down the hill to greet me. It seemed unusual, but nevertheless I scattered the chook feed into their pen and collected three beautiful eggs; one white, one cream and one deep brown. It was then I noticed the headless chook. The gold-spangled hen had been decapitated, its head left beside it. Just outside the pen, I found the head of Isadora, the large black hen who layed the brown eggs... and then, for a while I harboured the hope that the silver-spangled hen had escaped somehow. No. Her headless body was jammed against the side fence and partially buried beneath some leaves.

Suzanna was distraught. For some strange reason I felt guilty that we had decided to get rid of the chooks. Not rational, I know, but true. It seemed strange that it should happen now. Three years the chooks had been with us, three years of eggs and recycling kitchen scraps. True, they had ruined the back garden, true they were a pain at times with their early morning squawking.

The body of Isadora is gone. Maybe taken away by whatever creature did the deed. A fox? Maybe. A local dog? Mmm, how did it get over the fence?.

The last three eggs are in the fridge. Somehow I don't feel like eggs for breakfast.



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