On Chickens, Death and Dahlias

In relation to my last post, I finally bought plants from someone on Craigslist. Tubers for 5 different types of gorgeous dahlias for only $2 each.  I ordered 2 of each, and in a stunning moment of math skills, gave the woman only $10 in front of her adorable family in their lovely home as they were cooking dinner. I don’t think she noticed until after I left, and I only realized it an hour later. Ridden with guilt I emailed her the next day, apologizing profusely, she thanked me for my honesty and I mailed her the other $10.

Also, we sadly lost one of our chickens a couple weeks ago. Sean was home for a week on bereavement leave after his beloved grandfather passed away (obviously, a much, much sadder event than losing a chicken, and a whole other story that isn’t much of mine to tell), and had just battled a horrendous bout of traffic while running errands on the other side of the city. He came home, looked outside, and there was Rose, our friendliest and most social chicken who loved to be petted, tipped over on her back, feet in the air, dead. Considering he’s had to deal with only one pet death in his life, and he was already pretty emotionally stressed, he was very bummed.

I was bummed too, and even more so when I had to call our landlord, who had owned Rose for 2 years before we had her. She was pretty upset, but after I explained the situation (her cluck had been raspy a week or two leading up to her untimely demise, but her activity level was absolutely normal and peppy, and we did everything we could), she understood.

Then… Then!

She wanted me to pluck memorial feathers off of Rose. You know, the chicken that’s been dead in a bag for 24 hours.  I mean, I felt bad so of course I did it, and afterward I didn’t feel as bad for her loss anymore because THAT WAS VERY, VERY DIFFICULT. In retrospect, pliers would have been handy, but damn, 5 feathers was all I could muster, both physically and emotionally. Who plucks or skins a deceased pet? Props to generations of people who’ve plucked many a chicken for the sake of sustenance. Sweet chicken jesus.


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