Dear Estelle (my little white silkie),
I have heard people talk about how dumb chickens are. I disagree! After your bravery yesterday, I know you are smart!
I had been in my room reading when I jumped due to a raucous suddenly filling the peaceful afternoon outside. You and your sisters sounded like you were fighting for your life. You were! As I ran into the backyard, simultaneously, two different sights caught my attention. The first was the amount of white feathers laying on the ground. As my brain was trying to process that image, I saw a determined red-tailed hawk swooping down with its talons outstretched. I yelled! The bird of prey did not alter his course. He was coming down fast! I blinked, and just as fast, the hawk was flying up to the tree tops with his talons clutching nothing but air!
With my heart racing, I grabbed the bucket of ‘Grubblies’ dried black soldier fly larvae (ya’lls favorite snack) and started scattering them in the yard to help get your ‘sisters’ the Silkies, Golden Comets and Americanos out of the trance they were in. Slowly, the hens began responding. It was easy for your sisters to respond, because the fear of the hawk had left them frozen in the middle of the yard with very little coverage. You did not come running! Was I about to confirm my fear of whom the pile of white feathers belonged to? With dread, I lumbered over to examine the pile expecting blood or a body. There was neither. Did that mean you were safe? I began searching the perimeter of the yard searching through the foliage. You were not to be found. I was afraid that maybe you had been taken. I felt sick and sad! I was already missing your little pecks of impatience when I was too slow putting your salad treats on the ground. Or the way you always made me laugh when you herded the dogs, instead of allowing them to heard you! You may have been the tiniest chicken in the yard, but your personality superseded everyone else’s, dogs included! As these memories went through my mind, I glanced over near the AC unit. Was I seeing more feathers? I slowly approached. When my feet crunched on the gravel, the feathers moved in unison! I crouched down and there you were!!! Your head was wet from the condensation drips from the unit. Your face was filthy from pecking at the dirt, but you were alive!
Your second chance of life was not due to luck, unlike your sisters. I give you credit for being smart enough to hide in a spot where you were covered, by planks of wood on 5 sides, from the hawk. There was no way he could have swooped down to get you. Thanks for hiding in a protected spot instead of allowing fear to leave you rooted to an unsafe spot with inadequate protection from a powerful, flying, hungry red-tailed hawk!
You, my little friend, have personality, courage, brains and lots of love to share, making adventures in the backyard cheerful for me!
2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.