Rest in peace, Napoleon

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by Dutchgirl, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    Dear Napoleon,

    You will be missed by the hands that handled you for the first time in the feed store when you were just a small white chick, held you, petted you, gave you belly rubs, carefully picked each flake of dirt off your feet, touched your soft earlobes and wattles so gently, fingered your pointed spurs, removed you from where you used to sit on our heads, rubbed Vaseline on your frostbitten comb, soothed you when you were frightened, clicked the shutter button on the camera when you did something silly, picked you up even when you didn’t want to be picked up, and altogether loved you.

    No other rooster on earth could take your place. I want to say that I have named your son, who was probably your nemesis, after you – he is Napoleon Jr. But he could never, never be who you were. You were the last remaining rooster from our first batch of ten chicks, and how special you were!

    Do you remember when we thought you were a pullet and we called you Josephine? Do you remember when we laid you on your back to check you for parasites, and you fell asleep in our laps? Do you remember when you were the lowest little cockerel in the pecking order? Do you remember when you hopped on our heads and crowed to proclaim that you were higher in rank than we were? Do you remember that moment of victory for you when you discovered that the other roosters in the coop were gone? Do you remember the excursions you used to take your four hens on down the driveway and behind the house? Do you remember when we acquired those thirty-something chickens and you stopped taking your hens on those long journeys? Do you remember how you would fight with the other roosters and always win? Do you remember the times we separated you from all the chickens except the hens that were of your breed? Do you remember those times when you were stupid and slept on the roof of the chicken coop, easy meat for any nighttime predator? Do you remember when you lost your position as top dog in the pecking order? Do you remember the multiple attacks made by the dogs, hawks, and raccoons where you missed being eaten every time… except this last one?

    You were so kind and loving to your hens You loved them like any good husband, father, or brother might. When we came out with treats, only when all the hens had had their share did you eat some yourself. Sometimes I even threw it closer to you so you could get some, but instead you just called your hens over and let them eat it.
    You also spent time trying out nestboxes for your beloved hens. You didn't mind that they were picky about which box they wanted. If they didn't like the one you'd chosen, you'd move on to another one.

    I only realize now how you reflected God’s love as our heavenly father. You only wanted the best for your hens and were willing to give up perfectly good pieces of food so that your greedy wives could have the best. God has put little pieces of himself in animals as clues for us as to how good he is.

    In addition, you didn’t peck on your hens as some roosters did. You were altogether gentle and loving with them.

    Napoleon, I want you to know how much I missed you when I saw you weren’t sitting on the roost with the other members of the flock. I want you to know that I cried and stomped and screamed and told the world how much I hate the dogs that killed you. I want you to know that if I’d been there I would have done all I could to save you.

    You were my favorite rooster and as I write this it’s hard to keep the tears back. Even so, the screen is blurry and my face is streaked. My throat hurts like it does when I try not to cry.

    Do you know how much it meant to me that you never once tried to attack me? That you would rather not be picked up, but even if you were, you never tried to get right away apart from the occasional few wiggles. If you ever scratched me I don’t remember, and I forgive you. Any scars I might have from you are completely accidental on your part – you would never hurt one of us.

    You were a tough guy to beat. Maybe it helped that all our roosters since you gained your position as top dog have been no bigger than you are, but size doesn’t matter. It was your heart – a fighting heart.

    I hope you’re having a great time up there with Jane and Silver and Sweetiepie, plus Duchess and all the other hens that used to be in our flock. Don’t fight too much with the roosters! Tell God to calm Solo down a little. [​IMG]

    I love you… more than I could ever, ever, ever say.

    Rest in peace, Napoleon.

    Here are some pictures of him:

    Trying out the nestbox:




  2. Tina D

    Tina D Songster

    Sep 2, 2010
    Dutchess County, NY
    So sorry for your loss. [​IMG]
  3. LaneHill

    LaneHill Chirping

    Mar 22, 2011
    Endless Mountains PA
    No words just [​IMG]
  4. tinychicky

    tinychicky Songster

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    after one of my hens named storm passed away last year i had a dream. a dream that comforted me more than any word of sympathy ever could. i wrote it down after to remember the sense of peace it brought me. i hope it helps you, too.

    Sunlight falls in waves. The maple tree, thick with broad vermillion leaves hangs heavily in peaceful slumber. The lights of the twin sun and moon mingle; plunge down like insubstantial rain to dapple its shadow. Two shapes, one black like a raven’s wing, the other the shade of dusk blend in a sea of soft darkness. The sky is pale with winter. Droplets of spring dew weigh down sunset flowers the color of Stormpuff’s eyes. A few dry crimson leaves become tangled in the long summer grass below.
    One of the two shapes lying beneath the spreading boughs stands to shake out her feathers. They are the blue-gray color of a storm cloud, but not so dark. No, these are softer, lighter. The hen looks at her daughter, still dust bathing luxuriously. They communicate silently. The small black pullet gets to her loosely feathered feet and stares into the distance. Something is coming. Something that glides on noisy wings, something deep blue; something whole and well. Storm lands beside her mother and sister. Her orange eyes meet her mother’s burgundy ones. And then, as if it had been any other day, Storm’s legs collapse and she lies on her side, closes her eyes and extends a wing to soak up the warm, brilliant sunlight that streams endlessly from the cloudless sky. Wobble and Bumble lie beside her and their feathers meld into blue night.

    right now i promise napoleon is dustbathing with his girls in the sunlight of a perfect place, far from the hurt of the world.

  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    [​IMG] I'm sorry for your loss. Your tribute to Napoleon is beautiful.
  6. luvinmychickens

    luvinmychickens Songster

    Jun 15, 2011
    So sorry for your loss [​IMG] everyone will miss you Napolean, you sound like a good rooster [​IMG] R.I.P

    [​IMG] Reading your story made me cry. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2011
  7. coyotesmommy

    coyotesmommy Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    That was very beautiful, he sounds like a wonderful rooster, my eyes are watery and my throat is all choked up. Rest in peace Big Guy

  8. fluffychickens

    fluffychickens Songster

    Sep 1, 2010
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  9. Miyashi

    Miyashi Songster

    Apr 20, 2011
    Gaylord, MI

  10. Glenmar

    Glenmar Songster

    Jan 17, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by