Sunday, February 07, 2010

I have the sweetest sweet peas of children. I might not be saying so tomorrow, so I figure I better blog this while I feel it. Remember, I've got three real teenage boys and something of a spicy little girl. Here's the why behind my sweet thoughts today.

Claudette the Chicken was hand-raised from a chick by us in her own personal little single clutch of humans. She became a true pet more than a valuable hen, as I can't remember the last time she actually laid an egg. The kids would wildly swing on the swing-set with her in their laps and walk around with her perched on their heads. When we moved from the farm, friends sold us a red barn chicken tractor to match Clifford perfectly which became Claudette's new home in the city, all at Pooh Bear's request.

Here comes the sad part. Claudette was completely enclosed and safe in her abode, I thought. However, we were working on a fence and only the gates hadn't been installed when the crazy (I'm told but have never met her) neighbor's dogs somehow violently liberated our pet from her house, and you can guess what happened next. What's worse, is that Pooh Bear came home from school found the dogs and Claudette being eaten in progress.

Pooh Bear fell to pieces as you might imagine. She informed me that she would ask her second grade teacher to exempt her from any upcoming chicken projects at school. I asked Pooh Bear, "Exactly how many chicken related work is coming up next in class?"

Pooh Bear replied, "I have no idea, but just in case, I'm telling Ms. Long that I shouldn't have to do any of them. It will make me too sad."

As her brothers heard the news, they were also grieved. Claudette represented a significant part of their childhood and the loss of our farm life. I watched in awe as Peace offered Pooh Bear the rest of his beloved cat, Patches.

This sacrifice may not make sense to anyone but me, so let me explain. Peace's best friend is Patches. Patches came to him as a child via a lady at our church, Francis. Francis auditioned Peace to see that he would make an appropriate pet owner for her very fat and sassy "stray". Upon Peace and Patches first meeting, Patches rolled to his back and let Peace stroke his belly which made Francis gasp, "It took that cat a year to trust me like that!" It was love at first sight.

When we were selling the goats, baby goats, chickens, dogs, Pooh Bear and I cried together as each precious beast made it's way down our driveway and out of sight.
Peace found us sobbing after Ripley and Sarah had departed and responded with compassion, "Pooh Bear, I'll share Patches with you. He can be half yours and half mine."

I asked, "Pooh Bear, which half would you like? The front or the back? I highly recommend the front!" Peace and Pooh Bear sealed the deal that he'd clean the litter (oh, how I wish this were true), and she would do the feeding which seemed to so lighten the mood, and they would both be proud owners of a one-eyed, one-toothed geriatric cat.

So when Claudette passed away, Peace's tender response to Pooh Bear's heartache touched me deeply. I so pray Peace's generosity and kindness grows and spreads to make this world a better place.

Pooh Bear's friend also offered to give her a pretty new hen named Pudgy when we are ready. What a blessing.


Ruth said...

I've experienced the death of pets before, so I sympathize with you the loss of Claudette the Chicken. But what sweetly insightful children you have, yes?

Almostgotit said...

That is such a lovely and moving story. What a sweet boy. What a sad girl (rendered incapable of doing chicken projects -- until Pudgy in the not-too-far-in-the-future-I-hope future). Hurray for Patches.