Tuesday was just a chicken. And we love people who lately have lost dear people, and we have lost dear people too. We don't equate the loss of our hen with the loss of someone who has laughed across the breakfast table or tucked a child into bed. But, forgive us, we do grieve.
She was a chicken who loved to be held by two little girls. And those two little girls loved to hold her. They had a blanket just for her. She was the littlest chick and needed them more and, so, got all they had to give. She was a chicken who rode in a green wagon and went flying down the hill on a sled. She didn't flap or squawk. She nestled into the girls' arms and flew. Chickens don't fly, but on that sled, in their arms, Tuesday did.
We were away last week. When we got home the dandelions were blooming yellow all over the lawn, and Tuesday came out to play. She fluffed in the dust. She followed the girls wherever they went. She ate good grubs. And the next morning, we don't know why, she was dead. As Fern puts it in disbelief, "actually dead."
There was a funeral involving her favorite blanket and violets and a lot of tears. Birch said it best, "She was a sweet chicken."
I'm back out in the garden. Birch has mowed for the first time this year. The girls are pushing each other on the big swing in the silver maple. But there's a hole in our world shaped like Tuesday. And we see that little hen everywhere.