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