Thursday, January 23, 2014

Counting Your Blessings after a Tragedy

Mr. Tumnus

...and I realize that our "tragedy" wasn't much of one.  On a scale of one to ten, it's probably about a two or three.  But was still a tragedy, even if a small one.

After my update last week on how our chickens were doing so well and enjoying their hour of free ranging every night, disaster struck.  We went out to eat Friday night to celebrate passing my test so that I am now a licensed pharmacist in Texas.  I turned the chickens out before we left because I knew we weren't going to be gone long.  When we returned, I sent Sarah Beth out to shut the coop door to lock the chickens in for the night.  She came back inside sobbing.  When she calmed down enough to tell us what was wrong, she said there were only three (out of the eight) chickens in the coop.  John went out to investigate and found feathers all over the yard.  In short, it appeared that a dog or a pack of dogs killed half of my chickens.  And Sarah Beth was the one to discover it, although she did not see any feathers or bodies.  The remaining chickens were one laying adult and two pullets.

Immediately, I started compiling the blessings in the midst of this tragedy:
  • Sarah Beth didn't see anything disturbing, like the carcass in the treeline or the one in the front yard that John disposed of early Saturday morning.
  • Not all of the chickens were killed.  We still had three....
  • Meg was spared.  She lays blue eggs, and if we're only going to get one egg (or less) a day for the next couple of months, at least it will be blue.
  • Mr. Tumnus was apparently a rooster, and he must have put up some kind of fight.  His feathers are strewn all over the yard.  As a matter of fact, his feathers are the only ones in our yard.  We were probably going to have to get rid of him anyway, so that saves us something.
  • And I figure his fighting gave the other chickens time to escape.  
  • The next morning, Lucy was waiting outside the coop, apparently unhurt.  One more chicken!  From three to four...
  • On Sunday morning, Alice was waiting to be let in the coop.  Since she's one of my laying hens, not only do I now have five of my eight hens, but two of them are producing eggs.  Hooray!
This "tragedy" could have much worse, and I feel so blessed by God that it wasn't.  I started this post when I thought I only had three chickens left, and He increased His blessings to me in returning two more of my chickens when I thought there was no way.  Mostly, I feel blessed that my children have taken it all in stride.  After Sarah Beth's initial tears, they've been fine.  And that is a tremendous blessing!

In case you're wondering, we lost our Barred Rock pullet (Myrtle), a White Plymoth Rock (Mr. Tumnus), and our laying Buff Orpington (Clover).  We still have one White Plymoth Rock (Lucy) and both Light Brown Leghorns (Susan and Brownie), along with our laying Barred Rock (Alice) and Easter Egger (Meg).  

What blessings have you discovered amidst your difficulties and tragedies?

This post is linked with Aurie at Welcome to Our Good Life.

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