When the weather is cool and the days are long, there are chores to do and friends to make. Here’s my confession: I have a bad habit of acquiring (especially chickens) to the farm whenever the occasion arises.
This time, I came home with 3 chicks thinking they were going to be for Phoenix. I bought these because supposedly they were white chicks (haha no pun intended) who laid white eggs (get that!). How hard could it be to acquire some white chicks?! The nerve. Tyson, you can’t take all the chickalletta’s in the world, ok?!
There are 25 (or something like that) hens and a rooster and not one ☝️ lay regular white eggs. Only green and brown (beautiful) eggs. So, as these 3 chicks grew, they grew blonde–like Goldie Hawn blonde not Pamela Anderson blonde (big difference). Although I bet the breasts of a Pamela versus a Goldie may well outweigh with benefits. Well, the breasts are beside the point. The story is about chicks.
So anyway, unfortunately, our custom-made growing box had broke. Sadly, it had wheels for transportation and compartments for all growing stages. Therefore as a replacement, I used a plastic container and netting/lid on top. There was only 3 so I figured it’d do. Yet, due to the exhausting Texas heat, I had to keep the box inside the house.
Kate loved this idea! In her head, she finally has her own babies in her own house. I know she’s thinking, “these are my new babies, this is my moment, my everything.” And it was.
What’s a girl to do when she now has a baby? Swaddle, pat, feed, walk, talk, boss, and talk some more to it gosh darn. And bless her, she went through a complete nesting phase (haha cause they are birds –nudge, nudge) with them. She took such good care of them, yet it was a little hard to keep up with 3 at one time. Don’t worry, one did not get less attention than the next.
Hard knock life.
As time went on, the pecking order continued and two didn’t make it. At that point, I thought I had won this solution-problem-solution scenario with a one bird child for a large box. See, this chick had it made. She has fresh fluffy shavings, her own water, her own feed, and essentially her own place. I mean, the girls outside share a whole brothel with chicks that they may or may not like. Plus if they don’t like the guy running the place (rooster named Martin) they are really out of options.
I’m sure she thought she made it to the life of luxury. Until she got bigger. She got more feathers in, she was wider (as we all do), and taller. So tall she had to duck down to move around the place. It was time for trial runs to the “Big House”.
The “Big House” is a BIG deal.
See, you got some nice girls, some bad girls, and some just ruthless cocks (haha) out there. Hey, I’ve watched movies. I know what happens in the courtyard. So, we took some trips together out there. I sat her down, let her walk around, find her safe corners, and check what exits were available. I always stayed to watch this phenomenon; this was so I could ensure her safety, of course. I’m not sure whether that makes me the Warden or Head of Security, but anywho, the job was “essential”.
Protecting the young.
Kate and I went out to the pin often and brought Rhea with us every time. Well, the truth is, Rhea went everywhere with us. Kate built a house for her where she would have all the essential things. This included a kitchen, Dr. Pepper (in the sink for easy access), plastic snacks, a cat bed with blankets, and toys for various needs of entertainment. She was set! Who needs a brothel at this point?!
Every time we took her to the Big House, we stayed and watched. This was part of the transitioning phase. Occasionally, some tough girls would throw their breasts up high and corner Rhea. We would save her. Then there were times the girls ate her food. We would stand up for her. Other times, they would pace right next to her checking her out. We stood with her. It’s not an easy job, but necessary. It’s a hard world out there for the young.
So we decided that since she was just not ready, she could just be Kates until she was big enough to fend for herself. They hang out together, take their walks, debrief the day, and eat snacks. That’s what chicks do. Until one day.
Rhea was tucked into her cat bed for the night, covered with tissue paper as a blanket. Her head and neck were peacefully supported by a soft and plush pillow. Her eyes were closed and she looked more content than a pig lying in the mud. Wait, she looked really content. Wait.. why?…is that? …..oh no.
Yup, she died a peaceful, yet full life. She was hand fed and sometimes hand watered. Toured, and talked to like a new love. Every cat and dog would give anything for the life Kate gave her. I’m still not exactly sure what happened to her.
Because we love you.
It was necessary for sweet 4-year-old Kate not to know that her Rhea baby fell asleep that night. So what does every good parent do? Hide the evidence. Tell them she left for vacation— with Jesus. It’s the only reasonable thing to do. She accepted and understood the need for a vacation. She didn’t need any more explanation. In fact, she thought going camping sounded like a great idea.
Maybe when she’s older we’ll let her know it may have been an unfortunate eternal vacation.
Miss you Rhea. We’ll pour one for our homie.