Bessie was my favorite of all the girls from the start. Maybe it was because she had the most distinct looks. She looked like a baby owl - in fact, I called her "Owl" for the first couple months of her life, and held her more than the others. I think it was this kind of bonding that I did with the girls since they were a day old that turned me from a fried chicken eater to not being able to tolerate the the taste of the bird. I'm still conflicted. I'm not a vegetarian - don't intend to be. But after three sets of chickens, this was the group that I bonded with the most.
When one turned out to be a Rooster - The Reverend Green (AKA Odetta before the "change")- chicken raising took on an entirely different meaning to me. Having to give up the Rev because Roosters are OUTLAWS in Seattle and our Earth Mother Hippie Lesbian Mother of Child and Forgiveness and Kindness neighbor complained and said he was throwing off her "biorhythms" and that even being shut up in a tiny room that was overheated and stuffy with the windows shut, and wearing earplugs, and covering her head with a pillow, she was unable to get enough sleep to go to hear her friend's band play or get up to do her four hour temporary job work-stuff. So I sent the Rev to another place - a good place where he can roam more freely - but it broke my heart.
And now a few months later, Earth Mother's dog mauled two of our chickens. Bobbie Gentry is now in a box in my office, bandaged and looking sad. I hope she makes it. Bessie wasn't so lucky. She was almost gone, and Papa Seed had to end her life. It was devastating for both of us. My little Bessie, of the sweet looks and the beautiful, beautiful blue-green eggs.
I posted this elsewhere and I received some very sweet messages. Alas, also a lot of comments are more about wanting me to report the dog and some other odd personal agenda messages. I know that people mean well. I guess all I want is to be sad about my sweet Bessie. When I put the girls to bed at night, shutting up their door, I say "Good Night" and sometimes sing them the Sondheim song that contains the words, "No ones going to hurt you, not while I'm around..."
I love my ladies. I had no idea chicken love could be so sweet, especially when not eating them. I will miss my sweet, sweet Bessie. I'm so sorry I didn't protect her the way I said I would. I'm just sad.