29. Jul, 2014

The end of a chapter

Featherpin began her life in a battery farm where she endured gross neglect, pain and suffering. She was the weakest of a hundred hens we rescued that night, many, many years ago. If it hadn’t been for her dear friend ‘Sandwich’ I might never have seen her, lying dying in the corner of her iron bar cage.

    I tucked her bloodied and featherless body into my jacket and took her to our home for waifs and strays. I didn’t expect her to make the journey, let alone the next six years.

    Featherpin and her best friend Sandwich (I called her this because there was more meat in a sandwich than there was on her) made us realise that chickens are much more than egg layers, they have compassion for one and other and characters that can make you laugh one minute and cry the next.

    The weeks and months that followed their rescue consisted of many visits to the vets and a lot of tender loving care. ‘At the very least,’ I prayed daily, ‘let them feel the sun on their backs and the rain on their faces. Let them wake up in the morning knowing they are free to roam and sleep at night knowing that they are safe and well loved.’

    My kind and unassuming husband and I had only recently married and I wondered what he thought about my time and our home being taken over by these loveable creatures. I needn’t have worried however, they won him over and he loved and cared for them as much as anyone ever could. So our ‘home for waifs and strays’ was born.

    And not to give too much away, as the in-between years are written as a book for children (almost completed) though I shall tell you this, they lived to see many summers and were loved beyond belief. They grew feathers to be proud of and laid eggs as though eternally grateful for their rescue. They each had names and characters and were wonderful companions. They made us laugh and cry so many times. They filled a gap in my life, I never knew was there.

    Sadly today, Featherpin, the last of that rescue, didn’t wake up. She was eight years old.  This Irish blessing is you Featherpin and all your feathered friends....

An Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.