December 31, 2015

A Penny's Worth

"Penny is acting weird," Mary reported. "I found her standing in the duck's water dish."

David immediately grabbed his jacket and headed out through the snow. No longer welcome in the chicken coop, Penny had been happily living with the ducks in the back pasture duck house. She had been doing well. She was a loved chicken with a special spot on a perch near the heat lamp and treats the kids brought her. I hoped she wasn't sick again.

"She's too cold. For some reason she's not staying near the heat." David brought her into the kitchen. Her feathers were puffed up and her comb looked ragged. She snuggled into his arms and promptly fell asleep.

David and I made a bed for her in a box down in the warm basement. We'd keep her inside until she looked better. She seemed to perk up when we brought her food and water. I figured in a day or two she'd be back out where she belonged.

Just before bed last night Dave went to check on her. He came back up in a rush. One look at his face and I knew what had happened. Penny was gone. The sad news quickly spread. The kids were heartbroken.

Does one mourn a chicken? Apparently, the answer is yes. We had indeed become attached to this little bird. She was a silly thing, who liked to sit on our front porch, peering in the windows, pecking at the glass for attention. Like a dog she followed the children around the yard, ever curious about what they were doing. A show off, she lorded her freedom over the other chickens, strutting around the outside of their fenced yard, eating grasses and bugs beyond their reach. And she loved my boy. She looked for David and always came to him to be petted.

It's funny the way some animals worm their way into our hearts. They each add something unique to the wonder of our world. They have value and worth. They are gifts from a God who loves us, and we are grateful.

Rest in Peace, Penny girl.

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