Sunday, May 15, 2011

Maria

Why do I feel compelled to put everything on paper as if ordinary everyday events will somehow be interesting to people?  Who cares if my chicken named Maria died?  She didn’t just die; it was a cruel death at the hands of a miserable dog.  Well, actually, it was at the paws of a miserable dog.  She was a great chicken despite the fact that she left droppings all over the front porch.  But, we all learn to overlook such things as this when we love someone unconditionally.
Maria was a someone.  She had a name.  She had a personality.  She greeted me every morning at the door.  I still remember hearing her feet slapping on the porch as she rushed up to the door the minute she heard it open.  As soon as I stepped out the door, she would scrunch down to let me know that she was ready for me to scratch her on her neck.  Often times, she sat on my lap while I rocked her as I watched the horses run in the pasture.  She sat on my friends' laps too and never minded being scratched under her feathers.  I remember the first time I saw her eating with the kittens.  She was their mother, after all.  She raised them.  It was the funniest thing to see the look on their faces when Maria started to crowd in between them!  She shared every meal with them after that. The day she was killed was like any other normal day on the farm.  In fact, I was sitting at my computer writing just like I am now when I heard a thump on the window.  When I went to check it out I saw what I thought was a hawk hit my window, then I noticed it wasn’t a hawk.  It was Maria trying desperately to get away from a husky that had her cornered between our back yard fence and the house.  In her terror, she didn’t know that the window was closed.  I think she was trying to fly into our house for refuge.  Instead, she kept hitting the glass.  By the time I got outside to the back yard, it was too late.  She lay in a heap at the foot of the window.  The husky was long gone.  He didn’t touch her, just left her there.  I picked her up and noticed right away that she had broken her neck.  She gave one last sigh as if to let me know that she waited for me.  I cradled her in my arms and cried.  So, to the reader who would say, “Why didn’t you cook her for dinner?”  I say, no, she wasn’t just any chicken after all.  She was a mother to two kittens, she was the provider of our daily egg, she was a pet, but mostly she was a friend.  She was a super chicken.  A super chicken deserved a proper funeral with poems and flowers - which we gave her.  She rests under to old oak out front where she liked to lay her eggs.  So, in honor of Maria, I have posted her picture with her babies.  Goodbye my friend.  I will miss you.