I would like to use my humble blog to say farewell to a fine feathered friend. Beyonce was one of my lovely hens that comb the yard and nearby hillsides on a daily basis, scratching and pecking for whatever culinary treasures the Earth chooses to provide. I give them a bit of feed and some water and a safe place to roost at night and they return the favor with eggs and a spiritual peace that just seems to settle around their presence. Nothing lowers the blood pressure like sipping wine on the porch and watching “the girls”, or even listening in and occasionally joining their clucking conversations.
But alas! Beloved Beyonce is no more! She left us last Thursday for those fair, feathered realms beyond the sky, where chickens may peck and scratch without fear of silent death from above. You see, I and my family were not the only observers of my girls and their wandering. A hunter was watching. A beautiful bird in his own right. A bird shaped toward a very different life than that lived by my domesticated jungle fowl. A bird free and fierce and wild. A bird that must kill to sustain itself.
While I miss my bird, I believe that she died a good death. She died so another might live. This happens around us all the time, both literally and symbolically. One life is traded for another in the constantly shifting life that abides on our planetary home. I bear the Coopers hawk who took her no ill will, though I will seek to discourage such foraging on his part. I can’t blame a hawk for its hawkishness, though I can try to limit its success.
And come spring, I will get some new chicks–perhaps even another black austrolorp or two. I will raise them from peeps then turn them into the flock to peck and scratch to their hearts content. Perhaps they will live to a ripe old age before resting with their ancestors. Or perhaps they will feed another wild creature. But my life will be the better for having shared theirs for a bit, so they have my thanks already. As does Beyonce, her hunter, and all the other living things that make this world a constant miracle.