The Life of Pigeon I got her as a chick from atwoods. She was a banded pullet. I took her home and put her in the brooder with the other chicks, but she didn't want to be with them. Instead, she wanted to be with me. She sat and peeped until I got her out again. I stuck her up on my shoulder, under my hair, and she settled down and began peeping quietly, singing her sweet little chick song. I loved her. I spent as much time as I could with her, letting her sit on my shoulder, and listening to her sing her little chick song. The days passed, and she grew to be a fine pullet. Then I had to put her outside with the rest of the chickens. At first, she just wanted to be with me, and didn't want anything to do with the other chickens, but, slowly, she began to warm up to the rest of the flock. She grew to enjoy the company of the other chickens, and stopped being dependent on me. She grew independent, and thrived only on the companionship of other chickens. She was flighty and skittish How sad I was to see the sweet little girl that had once come running to me, running away from me. But, of course, try though I may, I couldn't get her to trust me and be the sweet girl she once was. Time passed and she grew from pullet to hen, and then I heard her proudly sing the egg song, after laying her first egg. How surprised I was to find that she'd gotten out of the coop and laid the egg in an old, empty aquarium. It was a pretty egg, a light, pale brown color, with very tiny white specks. But she never laid these pretty eggs in the nest boxes. She laid in tanks, garbage cans, feed cans, but not in the nest box. But one day, that changed. I went to the coop to gather the eggs, and saw her sitting in one of the nest boxes. I sat down on a stump and watched her lay her egg. I stroked her feathers, and talked to her. She finally laid the egg, and I told her that it was beautiful, and that I was so proud of her. She started singing the egg song. She hopped down from the nest box and ran out the coop. Little did I realize that that was the last time I would ever see her alive. I gathered the eggs and went in. I found some empty cartons, and began sorting the eggs to put in the cartons: bantam eggs in one, brown eggs in another, and blue EE eggs in yet another. This took me quite a while, and as I was finally putting them away in the fridge, I heard my dad say the very sentence I dread hearing, a sentence that floods me with sorrow and fear: “A chicken just got killed!” The feeling that you get when you hear this is not easily described. It is one of question, fear, and sorrow. I immediately have one question in my mind: which one got killed? I become afraid, afraid that the victim might be my favorite hen, Fuzzy. I become sorrowful because it really doesn't matter which one it is, I love all of them, and to lose one is a tragedy not easily described. I ran out the door, hearing it slam behind me. Everything happened so fast. I saw a mass of black and gold feathers in the dog pen, and I knew that it was Pigeon. I felt the tears coming as I opened the dog pen gate and ran to her. I fell on my knees beside her body, and sobbed bitterly. I could hardly see through the tears that clouded my eyes. There, right before me, lay Pigeon. Her body stretched out on the grass, her crimson comb now a deep purple color, her feathers soaked with blood. I picked her body up and carried her out of the dog pen and laid her out on the grass by the house. It was then that I realized that I was wearing only my slippers. I went back in and put on some shoes. Then I went back out to the spot where Pigeon lay. I picked her up and began the long walk to the far edge of the field, four acres away. She felt heavy in my arms, and my tears blinded me so that I often stumbled. Finally, I reached the edge of the field. There was a large pile of rocks in the corner of the field by the fence. This was where we always left the bodies of deceased chickens. They were always gone the next day. I laid her body on a mound of old hay, atop the rock pile, and sat down beside her. The tears that had finally left started up again. I was fixing to leave my sweet girl for the last time. After crying for a few long minutes, I finally said some last words to her. I don't know why, but I did. I sat and spoke to Pigeon's body. I think I must've done so because it made me feel better. I don't really know why. Between sobs, I managed to say: “Well, girl, I never imagined I'd find myself here with you. You were always so good at staying away from predators. What happened? I'm sorry, girl. I should've prevented this. But you're in a better place, now. I'll miss you, my girl. Goodbye.” I sat and stroked her feathers as I said these words. I looked at her beautiful feathers for the last time. They held their beauty to the end: a deep, raven black with a beetle green sheen, and the chest feathers dipped in bright gold, with specks of gold spattered throughout the rest of her feathers. I stroked her feathers, and caressed them, until, finally, I decided to leave. Leaving was the hardest part: I would leave her for the very last time, and never see her again. I stood up and began to walk away. My heart was heavy, my vision blurred with the tears I had tried and failed to hold back. I started to run. Faster, faster. I just wanted to get away as fast as I could. I just wanted to leave this spot and never have to go back to it. I tripped and fell, and rose again and started running. Finally I reached the house. I tried to pull myself together for my family. I dried my tears, rubbed my eyes, and put on a normal face. Then I went in. The ordeal was over, but it had left a big hole in my heart. Pigeon: May 12th, 2012 - February 24th, 2013 May you Rest In Peace A Word From The Author of The Life of Pigeon I wrote this February 24th, 2013. It is all a true story, and written only 30 minutes after her death. The first time I wrote it, the computer erased it and I had to rewrite it from memory. This story is a memorial to my dear hen, Pigeon. The story was written so well only because I poured all of my grief and sorrow into it. I wish that I would have been able to save her, but I wasn't. The only thing I can do now is prevent this from happening again. Because of my ignorance, a dear hen was killed... never be ignorant of things that could be potentially deadly to something else. That is all I can say about this sad story. Thank you for reading it. Hannah.