I never thought I'd find myself holding a dead chicken and crying my heart out over her. But, I did. She was my Gertie Birdy and I loved her. So many of you loved her too and cheered her along as she made her journey from the horrible conditions in a commercial egg factory, to the best loved resident of Bramasole. She passed away just before Christmas and it didn't seem the right time to talk about something so sad. Now, it doesn't seem right to let her pass without sharing all that I learnt from her.
I'm so glad she had two years of sun, grass, worms and freedom. She made a great Chicken of the Sea! ~
She taught me that courage and faith are needed to overcome the bad things in our past. She had seen only cruelty from humans before she was rescued. ~
Yet, she was the first of my rescues to venture near me for treats. That is all the more remarkable because she had severely impaired vision and had to be be cautious around potential danger. ~
I never hurt her and she didn't judge me by what others had done. She loved it in Bramasole and she loved being with me. ~
Life still wasn't perfect for her. She was the defective chicken in the flock and always at the bottom of the pecking order. If she was bullied to the point of blood being drawn, I had to segregate her. ~
Sometimes, I wished she would fight back. But, even if there was a sick chicken in the flock, she didn't raise her own status by picking on it. The only times I ever saw a sign of aggression from her was when new chickens fought with her original coop mate. Then, she went at them and chased them off. She could be pretty vocal with any chicken that came near her eggs, too. She was a defender, not a fighter.
She found a spot to roost that wasn't too close to the others and whenever a rumpus broke out in the coop she found a place to keep her head covered and waited it out. She knew, sooner or later, I'd be there to save her.
Gertie was a pragmatist, accepting of what was bad in her life and enjoying all that was good. She loved her treats! ~
When I opened the coop door in the morning, she literally spilled out and jumped up into my arms. She followed me around the yard and learned that a shovel meant juicy worms would soon be turned over. The others never seem to have clued in to that. ~
And, she would wait and wait for her darling human to come out. She was the soul of patience. ~
Gertie made outside so much fun for me. She let me see her heart and I let her into mine.
I'll keep the tags that had to be cut out of your infected wing, Gertie. I won't forget you. ~
You were not just a number. You were my Gertie Birdy and I will miss you as I work in the garden and sit on the patio. I will try to remember to have some of the grace you showed in your life. I won't dwell on past injustice or judge others before I see their character. I'll keep my head down when needed but race out into the sun when it shines. I'll defend when necessary but never attack. I'll revel in the taste of a garden tomato. Most of all, I'll love and be loved.
I think those are pretty good lessons to learn from one, little chicken, don't you?
I'm sharing this with: Thursday Favorite Things Bog Hop
What a great story and friend. I even reached for a tissue. My husband always tells me that I get too attached and he hates to see me so sad. What he doesn't understand or see are all the times my friend makes me feel special and loved. Thanks for sharing. RhondaReplyDelete
Thank you Maureen for sharing your part in Gertie Birdy's life. Our pets are sorely missed when they die and they always stay in our hearts.ReplyDelete
Wow, what a beautiful pet eulogy. What a beautiful pet.ReplyDelete
Gertie Birdy was a remarkable feathery soul. And a gorgeous little chick. But she taught you big lessons with her big heart. How could anyone not love her? I am sorry for your loss, but you gave Gertie Birdy freedom and love. The ultimate gift.ReplyDelete
Oh, God bless you for this. If only they could all find some love with a kind human. Rest in Peace, sweet Gertie. Hugs, DebReplyDelete
She was the ultimate pet chicken. Don't forget she would come calling at the door for you if you took too long. She definitely knew she was your fav!ReplyDelete
You do it to me everytime Maureen.... tears. What a lucky chicken she was and what a wonderful human being you are!ReplyDelete
Great post Maureen, amazing to read about life in the chicken coop. It seems to reflect a lot of the good and bad of what goes on in our life.
Ohhh Gertie :(ReplyDelete
Yes, those are fabulous lessons to learn from a chicken. I'm so sorry for your loss, Maureen, but so happy that Gertie was able to live in your love for those last years of her life.ReplyDelete
Maureen, that was so incredibly touching. Much like you, 2013 has very much been a year of saying goodbye in the Harkins Household. You have such an endearing way Ms Maureen and much like Donna I am shedding tears for Gertie. Gertie Bird, what a lovely bird you were!! I am so sorry to read that she has passed on. What luck, though, to find so much warmth and love during those twilight years. All the best always, JileenReplyDelete
What a lovely eulogy for a feathered friend who had much to teach us all. I shall keep your last paragraph to remind myself what is important. Rest in peace Gertie Birdy.ReplyDelete
Oh, poor Gertie. I'm sorry you lost your beloved chicken Maureen. You two certainly were attached and I know you'll miss her. You were so good to rescue her and give her a good home. Blessings, PamReplyDelete
oh, my friend. this is such a sad story. how she bloomed under your care. I am so sorry.ReplyDelete
Omigosh...if YOU didn't think you'd cry over a chicken, I certainly never dreamed I would! I'm so sorry for your loss, but so glad you got to save and cherish your Gertie Birdy!!ReplyDelete
What a sweet post! I know how our animal friends impact our life!! Hugs to you Maureen!ReplyDelete
Maureen, what a sweet tribute to your little Gertie birdie! I think she taught you wonderful things as I'm sure you did her!ReplyDelete
Aw, Maureen- You know that I am bawling now. Poor Gertie. I am so glad that she had some joy in her life and knew love. I think God has a special place for all those that have been hurt and mistreated in life on Earth. I know that goes contrary to what most people think-but He made chickens, too...and he certainly did not intend for them to suffer at man's hand. God bless YOU as you mourn your Gertie. You did her proud with this tribute! xo DianaReplyDelete
Maureen I'm so sorry, I'm so glad Gertie had the opportunity to have a life away from cages and lived out the rest of her days loved and free.ReplyDelete
Maureen ... so sorry you lost your friend "Gertie Birdy". Be proud that you saved her and had time to enjoy the new Gertie and she learned to trust people. Bless you for being so loving and kind.ReplyDelete
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures
Oh I' so sorry! I sure enjoyed following along on Gerties journey and she will certainly be missed by a lot of people. Maybe you could make a picture frame and incorporate those tags in it along with a picture of your first chicken love??ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear of Gertie's passing. Those are some pretty amazing life lessons that we all should follow. Gertie was a very special bird. So glad you could make her last years her best.ReplyDelete
I must be an emotional wreck Maureen because I'm sitting here with my eyes welled up.ReplyDelete
What a life you gave her - seeing that picture when she arrived and her miraculous recovery is so heart warming - and that she sat outside the window waiting for you to come out -
bwahhh - I should have stayed away this morning lol
My condolences - ( is that weird? ) much love,
Oh Maureen, my cheeks are wet and I just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss. I know what a little creature who can't speak, but who's actions speak volumns, can mean to us humans, I truly am very sorry.ReplyDelete
You have honoured Gertie Birdy with a beautiful epitaph.
Oh no!! I'm so sorry...! she was adorable. I'm sure you must miss her so much... she sounds like she was such a wonderful little chickenReplyDelete
Oh Maureen, I am so so sorry about sweet Gertie! You must be missing her so much....she looks so adorable and what a beautiful tribute you have given to Gertie! Thanks for sharing with us! Big hugs, PoppyReplyDelete
O my goodness, I had tears in my eyes while reading this, you named her right and she had a wonderful two years with you.♥ReplyDelete
Oh Maureen... I'm so sorry about Gertie. How wonderful that you gave her a chance at some freedom and happiness.ReplyDelete
So sorry to hear about Gertie...thanks for sharing her story on the blog hop!ReplyDelete
Maureen, I feel your hurt. I cried hard over the loss of our sweet Ella. She was the smallest of our girls and the leader, followed me around like a puppy dog, and had so much personality. We fought hard to keep her with us, but it was not to be. Our girls are as much as pets and family to us as our dog and cat. I am so sorry Gertie is gone. She was lucky to have you and you her. xoReplyDelete
I send you gentle hugs and Thank you for sharing this sweet and very sad story of your darling Gertie at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . more HugsReplyDelete
Oh my, what a wonderful post. Full of hope for the underdog. I never knew there was a rescue for chickens. Gertie is forever in your heart and her story is etched in mine. Thank you for sharing a story that most would never have the blessing to have heard. I love that your are keeping the tags from Gertie. I still carry my CeCe's dog collar in my purse, although she's been gone over 6 years now. Like you I will never forget her.ReplyDelete
Found you via Thursday's Blog Hop.
Barbara @ www.allmylivesnow.com
What a lovely tribute to a beautiful bird. I'm so sorry you lost her, but so glad she had a wonderful time with you before she left. She is the perfect example of why I will NOT buy battery-hen eggs, and keep my own chickens.ReplyDelete
Godspeed, Gertie. You were well loved!