we knew this day would come. you can’t decide to raise six chickens quasi-free-range among 30 acres of northern hardwoods full of coyotes, raccoons, eagles, hawks, owls, ospreys, weasels and foxes, and expect everybody to just get along indefinitely. in fact it is a wonder that all six of our girls lasted through a year and a half of bossy and entitled quasi-freedom. rue was not the bossiest, or the most entitled (glimmer wins both of those awards), but she was the least containable. she always found her way out of every pen, cage, and run, and we would find her most days ambling past steve’s home office window, or scratching for bugs with her fluffy butt in the air some hundred yards up into the woods, or wandering through the open front door and pecking crumbs from the kitchen floor, while her sisters searched in vain for a way out of their chicken wire enclosure. so it makes sense that when the fox came for a visit, he would run into rue first. we found her lying very still and peaceful right next to where steve chased the fox off, after he released glimmer, his second intended victim, from between his jaws and let her sprint back toward the house only a few scratches and puncture wounds the worse for her experience. but it was too late for rue, and we will miss her.
feathers from rue, our golden buff chicken
saint paul, minnesota