Oh cry me the hydrosphere!
News of the unexpected annihilation of the majority of our flock were met with anger, distress and an abundance of tears. We promised replacements, but that “wouldn’t be the same”. The household was veiled in a dense sorrow, and we all swore we could not possibly eat chicken until Christmas, at least. The memories were pungent, as was our guilt.
By the end of the week, the children had each picked out a new chick, this time sexed only. Soon, they had forgotten all about the plight of Rocky, Drumstick, Bicycle and Toula, and had become obsessed with our new clutch, once again residing in our dining room. The school year was just beginning and there was much to look forward to.
Only, there was one peculiar behavior I was unable to explain. My son had taken to visiting the garage frequently. Now, this was not unusual in and of itself. What was unusual was the fact that he would enter and exit with nothing in his hands. I was accustomed to seeing the odd baker’s dozen of screwdrivers making their way in and out of his nimble hands, usually as a means to some end I preferred not to ponder, but all of those seemingly aimless tours made me sick with worry. Finally, I asked him what he had been up to. “Oh, I’m just checking on Rocky and the boys” he answered nonchalantly, his response both entertaining and irksome. Otherwise, he seemed to be functioning normally.
In the meantime, I had managed to demolish my hand while trying to simultaneously carry a load of fresh tomatoes, some berries and the watering hose up the terraced vegetable garden.
The chicks grew and joined the hens in the coop. My pain grew also, and I was unprepared for the road that lay ahead. My frustration was building. Between running three children around from one activity to the next, making sure nobody was slacking off, the daily dinners and cleanup, volunteering and tending to the garden and the coop…and all with one hand, I was a ticking time bomb, and somebody was going to get the shrapnel in the face!