Monday, October 1, 2012

Not Phyllis

Phyllis Penelope Broodston
A fine example of an Old English Bantam hen.
She stole my heart a few years ago at the Poultry Auction.
I won a bidding war and paid $30 for her and her six babies.
She's been one of my favorites since that day.
Comical as all heck - a brooding machine - persistent - bossy - an excellent mother - and entertaining.
Stupid chickens.
They just worm their way into your hearts if you let them - each one unique.
Phyllis with her little pin head was pretty old when I got her - she was pale looking already - a sure sign of age on a hen - and a woman for that matter.
She was no spring chicken.
She's had a few bouts of troubles - scaly mites on her legs - she lost a few toes to them.
For the past week - she's been a bit elusive. 
I figured she'd been off broody again - she is more than not.
Glenco found her in the garage just sitting on the floor a few days ago, with a swollen eye.
We brought her right in, and she seemed a bit unkempt, so we (I) gave her a bubble bath and a blow dry.
Her appetite was great - I made her oatmeal and scrambled eggs every day.
I had plans of taking her on our trip to the Appalachian Trail - I'm serious.
I was even going to make her a little backpack to keep her treats in.
Perhaps a little hiking hat - I could tell she was looking forward to the road trip.
I had resolved that she would just be a house chicken from here on in.  I had visions of watching Modern Family together while we shared bowls of popcorn. 
Photo: Poor little Phyllis....keeping her close to my heartbeat for comfort.  Her eye looks a little better but still so swollen.  She's going to the farmers market with me today.  :-)
With her appetite as strong as it was - I really didn't think I had a thing to worry about with this gal.
I even took her to the Farmer's Market yesterday - where she enjoyed Honeycrisp apples - and fresh air and sunshine.
Photo: Phyllis enjoying a Honeycrisp apple
This morning - right after my workout - Phyllis passed away.
Or at least I thought so.
I held her as she took, what I thought, was her last breath.
I laid her back in her cage - and called Glenco.
He was so shocked - as shocked as I was.
I went back in the kitchen and found Phyllis standing somewhat with her head completely bent behind her - like she was doing a back bend.
I picked her up again and held her - she was in misery - I could tell.
I knew I had to do something.
I had to Kevorkian her - assist her with her journey to the big Coop in the sky.
You know - since I've had chickens - I've done many things I never knew I was capable of doing.
You find the strength you need - when you need it.
Phyllis really is gone now.
The yard won't be the same.
Stinkin' bird.
Phyllis taught me a lot in her life and in her death - seems silly doesn't it?
I'm always looking for life lessons in the little things.
Phyllis never gave up on her dreams of hatching birds out.
She would sit on unfertilized eggs for weeks on end.
Just when I finally got her a suitor - she up and dies.
She never got to see the Appalachian Trail.
I'm not sure my friends would appreciate me bringing her now.  : -)
Let's all learn from Phyllis to never give up - make your dreams come true - life is so danged short - get out there and live it!
Today we will cook Paula Deen's Beef Stew for dinner - in Phyllis' honor -
we shall eat no chicken today.