Growth is a double edged sword. Unchecked, growth can be cancerous and destructive. It is this type of ceaseless expansion that has put our society into the precarious environmental and financial positions in which we currently find ourselves. On the other hand, growth can be regenerative and life-giving. Following a forest fire or a bitter winter, the first green shoots to emerge from the earth bear witness to the earth's ability to restore life in the wake of disaster.

My goal for this blog is pretty simple and open-ended: I want to document and share with family and friends my efforts to incorporate an ever increasing degree of self sufficiency, voluntary simplicity, and environmentally-conscious design into my life as a would be urban homesteader.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

R.I.P. Turkey Boy

This past Saturday evening our 'Burbstead was the scene of a minor tragedy. As I was preparing to take the kids to a basketball game, I went to close up the chicken coop and noticed that one of our girls (Turkey Boy) was missing. A flashlight search around the yard ensued without any results. I set the kids up inside and went back out to look some more. I found her in the corner of the chicken run, laying in some mud and half covered in leaves. She was freezing cold and barely breathing. I took her inside, cleaned her off, and set her in a laundry basket full of straw with some warm towels on top. She seemed to be breathing a little better before I went to sleep, but the next morning she was dead.

Turkey Boy was a big, gangly, weird looking chicken. She belonged to my son Alex, and he was understandably upset when she died. We buried her in the garden, and I told Alex that when it gets warmer we'll plant a special flower there for her. On the scale of traumatic childhood pet experiences, I suppose this falls somewhere in between flushing a school-carnival goldfish and having to shoot Old Yeller. It provided an interesting opportunity to talk to my kids about the natural cycle of life. They seemed to grasp the concept that nothing lasts forever and everything is connected to everything else a little easier than most adults probably do. After he finished crying, Alex's first question was if we could cut Turkey Boy up and eat her. :)

For the record, the remaining six chickens appear to be unfazed by their coopmate's passing.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, that made me laugh. Alex's response is great. What ever came of the chickens they were supposed to be getting for Christmas?
    Also, where does tumble drying a kitten fall between the gold fish and Old Yeller?