We currently have thirteen pets on the hill: three dogs, four cats, two hermit crabs, and four chickens. We had five chickens until one of the hens let us know she was a rooster and is now living at a new house.
Sadie, our textbook ADD & ADHD puppy has visited the hen house on a few occasions. It didn’t seem to bother her or the hens. Sadie was far more interested in their food than them.
The other day, Sadie took her brother Charlie into the chicken run and things changed. Charlie is the our big gentle bear, but once in the run, he became more bear than gentle. Feathers were tossed and hens pinned to the ground.
The only witnesses of this adventure were three of the four kids who also live here. One stayed to try and get Charlie out the run, one ran for help and we’re not sure what the third one did.
The puppies and hens were safely divided and except for a few feathers and a limping hen, they all lived.
All three of the grade school age witnesses have shared their take on the situation with me. Liam, the 5th grader mentioned that one of the hens is now limping.
“I know,” I said. “I’m so sorry Charlie got in the hen house.”
“That’s ok,” Liam said, “it’s natural for dogs to go after chickens. If they were in the wild, they would be eating them.”
“Well that’s a very good way to look at it,” I replied.
The fourth grader, who plans to someday to be a superstar – traveling the world singing but only after she becomes a world famous gymnast – found the situation to be traumatizing. In her words, “it left her trembling for hours.” (She’s kinda a diva.)
Our third grader sees life a bit differently than most. Emery sat next to me and in her serious and soft voice said, “The pups got into the hen house.”
“I know,” I said, “I’m sorry.”
Emery lowered her head and looked up at me through her brows. I saw her dimples begin to appear as she fought to hold back the smile.
Then I heard it… that sinister laugh that lets me know she is my grand-daughter.