Brief Reminescences

Not even a year ago.

Snow in the field. All is silent. Cuddled up in my arms is an old hen, her smooth black feathers giving off emerald reflections; another day has gone past, and it is now time for her to return to the night shelter, where she can rest safe from the occasional predator. Just like every other day.

As I walk, I reach the small and closed gate that leads to the gravel, which I forgot to open beforehand; two hands are required to hold the hen, and she hasn’t been trained to open the gate for me using her beak or anything fancy like that.

I look into her eye, she looks into mine. I try to read into her animal soul, and find no sign of open rebellion, no clear indication of the bother I am causing by carrying her around.

And so, for a second I trust her and let her down, out in the open. No sooner than I can reach for the gate, well..

Clucking madly, she runs off.

And after a moment of pondering “ah! I’ve been had” (by a chicken) and of how my trust in a member of the species Gallus gallus domesticus has been tragically mislaid; after this second of reflection and momentary sadness, I run after her, leaving but footprints in the soft snow.

Yet, on my final day there, as I say goodbye to that very field so full of snow, the setting sun streaking the purest white with that conforting hue of amber.. as I look at the small chicken range built for one; even at the pig whose shit I had to shovel away every day; at the horses who made me run all over the place with tons of hay; at the cows, who ate said hay while I was trying to hide it; heck, even at Max the cat who stabbed my neck once and clawed me over and over and gave me nightmares.. as I look, I cannot help a tear flowing down my cheek.

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