Yesterday was graduation day for 20 of our chickens. Nineteen of them were planned...and one of them certainly was not.
|Hannah took pictures of the turkeys instead of looking at the violence.|
This spring, we purchased some chicks to raise for eggs and meat. And we decided to keep one of the roosters, sparing him from graduation, in order to trying hatching some of our own Australorp chicks. Bubba-Roo was quite a handsome bird. The glint of green off those jet-black feathers when the sun is shining on them...well, it is just plain beautiful.
Bubba lived alone, which may have delayed his entrance into rooster-meanness for a while, but eventually he went the way of nearly all roosters. Even though we couldn't really socialize with him, we tried to give him a comfortable home in a nice large pen. Feeding and watering was a little bit dicey, but we managed. And we looked forward to letting him move in with one of our smaller flocks to hopefully prepare some eggs for hatching in late winter.
I don't know exactly what happened, but yesterday morning when I went out to start preparing the graduates to march, I saw Bubba-Roo lying down too strangely in his pen. Even at a distance, I knew that Bubba had left us. I say I don't know exactly what happened, but I have a pretty good idea. Something - probably one of our neighborhood raccoons - made a persistent effort to get to Bubba. The chicken wire was stretched and bent, but not broken. Bubba didn't have a mark on him. My conclusion is that he simply died of fright.
And even in this I am reminded of the dark power of fear and how it destroys life. And I hear the Voice speaking to us, "Fear not, for I am with you..." I hear the Psalmist testify, "I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."
I would be lying to you if I did not confess that I have some fears, some very deep fears, very terrible fears. I want to learn, I need to learn to trust the One who gives Life and who gave the Life of His Son to destroy fear. And I look for a Better Day when fear shall be no more.