Grace came in crying this morning. One of the cute chicks we bought the other week is dead in the coop.
It happens. Chicks have a high mortality. What made this one worse was that it didn't die, exactly, but was more murdered. By one of its flock mates.
The pecking order is so named for a reason. It's brutal and disgusting, but there you have it.
Life on a farm has its share of horrible moments. Lambs die because their mother's don't feed them, sometimes even if we find them on time. Sheep die because coyotes attack. The other week the farm dog needed a paw treated for a really gross infection that had my stomach churning. All our cats vanished one week - probably fishers, but who really knows. And chickens can be really, really mean.
But these moments are few and far between really. And I like to think Erik and Anna and Grace are growing up aware of the delicate balance of life.
The children were sad. They were upset. They were looking for solutions to stop it happening again. Erik got to dispose of the body (because, you know, Mom is a wuss).
The three of them looked at it wistfully.It's head was off. Not completely though, just sort of detached.
You know, said Anna, we never named that one. I guess its name is Nearly Headless Chick*.
I've heard that doctors and police detectives develop a rather grim sense of humour to deal with the dark side of humanity. The dark side of farming has its own grim humour.
*Only funny if you're a Harry Potter fan, and familiar with the ghost of Griffyndor.