Friday, November 13, 2015

The Lament for Little Gray

I was over having supper at my parents' house, and somehow the topic of chickens came up.

     "I'll miss the chickens," Dad said, a note of regret in his voice.
     "Chickens? What do you mean?" I asked. My parents have put a lot of work into taking care of their flock, with frequent updates in the family email about their status. I was confused.
     "It's too bad about Little Gray," Dad continued to muse. "She was the only one with any personality." His voice grew soft as his mind wandered over his past memories with the chickens.
     "Sometimes when I was working on the coop, she would wander over and peck around by me, just to see what I was doing."
     "Dad, dad!" I broke in on his reverie. "What happened to Little Gray?"
     "Let's just say she's in a better place now."

Apparently "personality" does not qualify a chicken for "alive" status. Somehow my father neglected to mention in the last family email that he and Mom have gotten rid of all their chickens this past week. Events such as this are usually a big happening in my parents' lives. However, the omission does make sense when you consider that advertising the fact that you just massacred 4 chickens, (the last dregs of the flock, excluding Little Gray) is generally not something you bring up in a cheery family update. In any case, I think I've come to terms with it now. My parents are simply trying to simplify their lives...with a little help from Mr. Ax.

I can only hope that some day far in the future, when my father steps out under the endless stars to listen to the quiet sounds of a soft summer night, he will pause a moment, and shed a tear for Little Gray, the Hen That Wouldn't Lay.


Charity Z said...

Oh, the kids will be so sad!

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