Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A life lost, a lesson learned.




It is with a sad heart that I post today, and a bit of a long story.  Last Friday I had to drive to Kamloops to pick Hubby up from the airport, I had no intentions of staying the night, even leaving my laptop behind.  We were going to be home by roughly 9:30-10:00 PM, the kids would get off the bus at 4 and Mikey, my nephew, would keep an eye out on them until we got home.  I had everything planned... unfortunately the airline didn't like my schedule.

While I was shopping in Wal-Mart Hubby called and said the plane had broke down.  The airline had planned another smaller plane to get there but it would be late.  "How late?" I asked.  Well "late" turned into the next day.  I had to scramble to get a motel, and then make plans for someone to stay at the house with the kids.  I couldn't have the kids stay somewhere else because of the dogs, chickens, woodstove, etc, etc.  Someone had to stay there... Dallas came to the rescue when she texted me that Duane, her Hubby, would drive out and spend the night with them.  I explained the routine with the chickens, the woodstove, and the kids.  Everything would be okay, I breathed a sigh of relief.

Even with the plane postponed until the next day the airline still managed to screw up and by the time Hubby landed in Kamloops the plane was two hours later than what was scheduled.  Instead of 7ish he came in at 9:10 PM, it was pretty near midnight when we got home.  After unloading the truck it was about 1:30 AM by the time we crawled into bed.

The next morning I got up and headed for the coop.  All the chicks came running out but I was mainly interested in finding "Feathers."  I quickly scanned over the chicks but Feathers wasn't among them... I darted into the coop and looked around.  I found him stretched out in one of the lower boxes looking peaceful but unfortunately... dead.  Darnit, darnit, darnit.  As I said in an earlier post this month, "I sometimes wonder why I'm here?" and other times I wonder why I leave?

A few things went wrong, and Sydney, as young as she is, has had a stern talking to.  I was so upset on Sunday that I waited until Monday to speak with her.  All this has been explained to her and she has watched me many times.  Instead of laying pellets the chickens were fed only hen scratch, their feeder was totally empty.  Duane assumed that when he saw Sydney sprinkling food around it was laying pellets, Sydney didn't think at all.  Chickens need food and water, two essential things for living, especially in this cold weather we are having.  And because of this cold I have been leaving all the lights on in the coop for heat, Sydney had turned all the lights off except one.  Most likely Feathers died from cold, and I think what upsets me is his death was totally preventable.  I have taught my children that no matter how small or insignificant to them, all animals have living beating hearts and to die suffering is cruel.  I explained to her that when we have to put an animal down we do it quickly and as humanely as possible, and that we are most likely doing it because they have been suffering.  We never think of it as an inconvenience when we have to pack water, or trudge out into the snow to feed our animals, we do it because we care and because they cannot do it for themselves.  I told her that when you see a feeder or a waterer empty or even low, you fill it up, but you must look for it and don't "assume" that someone else is going to do it.  I could go on and on but I did get my point across to her and I think she has a better understanding now.

5 comments:

Little Ol' Liz said...

Aww, Kansas.
I'm sorry you lost Feathers.

I'm sorry Sydney had to learn a hard lesson as a reaction to a bad situation. Kids. I have a similar situation that usually rolls downhill on my shoulders. I know what you mean about why am I here/why do I leave?

But I'm so glad your Hubby is safe and under your roof again.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

glad you are not my mother!!!!!but Merry Christmas to all of you love ab

jackie said...

So sorry about feathers. I have heard myself say to my kids so many times "What were you thinking?" and the real answer is usually "nothing" and that is the problem. Fortunately around here their thoughtlessness doesn't affect small dependent lives.

Oma said...

I know the saddest little person of all is Sydney. She loves animals so much. I feel for her and feathers.

Love Ya!

dawn said...

Oh how sad for Feathers. I so understand your frustration and not to make it worse, I don't think Sydney is too young to know that or have figured it out on her own. I know Zayal is the same age and has the same capacity to be inconvenienced and it makes me crazy when she has no concern for the suffering of the animal. She did do well yesterday in the cold all day and was very helpful as we tried to get Lucy up. I told her thank you for being such a big help.

All you said to Sydney, I have told my kids and they are not too bad, but Chadya has been careless with the chickens in the past. I am doing them more and send her out with specific instructions. She is older and I think in a situation like that she might come through but then she isn't as easily inconvenienced and tends to be our animal whisperer. I am sorry for your loss and so understand that feeling of frustration over something that was preventable.