A difficult day. I'm still up at nearly half past midnight. My Rhode Island red hen, Amelia, died today totally unexpectedly. She was first out of the chicken house this morning as usual. She eagerly joined her flock at the apples and kale treats voicing her thanks.
A few hours later while working in the vegetable bed I heard a sound I've never heard before, a steady, continuous crying. Phoebie was desolate. When I entered their yard the others came very slowly to me, reluctantly. In the tall grass I found her. LadyHawk refused to leave the spot.
There was no obvious sign of distress or injury. Not a single insect on her body, no blood, no discharge, no reason. Just lifelessness. Utterly final and despite my dedication to her, beyond my control.
This evening there was a picture postcard sunset, like you'd see on greeting cards of sympathy. Despite the larger events of the day, the passing of this one sweet hen may seem insignificant. Not to me. She was my companion, my court jester, my lovely dark brown shell layer, a dear little soul. I'll miss her.