Friday, December 16, 2011

A Last Gift

I named our chickens after Jane Austen characters. What that says about me, I'm not sure...

As follows, we were the proud owners of:

Elizabeth Bennet
Jane Bennet, and...
Lady Catherine De Bourgh.

Among others that didn't "stick".

I know what you're thinking (at least, if you're familiar with Pride & Prejudice) a hen named after Lady Catherine de Bourgh? Yes, I had the nerve to name a proud, haughty hen with feathers on her feet after the great Lady Catherine herself. :D It fit, too. She would never let us pet her or pick her up like the other chickens and was very high-strung. ;)

Jane was my favorite.

This is Jane.  (You can see the gray-and-white Lady Catherine right behind her)
Often shortened to "sweet Jane" or "Dear Jane", she was definitely the most adorable little friendly chicken I've ever seen. We liked her so much that when it came time to get our next lot of egg-layers, we bought Buff Orphingtons (Jane's breed).

You might have noticed that I am referring to these chickens in the past tense.

Today... we gave them away.

I was shocked to find out how attached to those birds I really was. I mean, one could understand becoming attached to one's dog, or cat, or family pet. But chickens? Well - those chickens were our pets. But they had grown old... and were down to three or so eggs a day from ten hens. In short, they were eating more than they were giving us. And for logical reasons, we had to either give them away, or they would be eating us out of house and home... and we would have to put them in our soup pot. Oh! Dear me, it would have been quite shocking! ( quote J. A.)

For a good while, they had been living in a little home we built off of one of the main chicken coops, and affectionately christened "The Dawdi Haus". (after the Amish term for a small house that the parents move into when they pass the farm down to the firstborn child).
There is the Dawdi Haus, with Daddy, and Jane. (There was a completely fenced run stretching out the back, not visible from this photo).

When my brother Mark brought in the eggs this evening after the final egg-check, Mama asked him if any of them had been from the Dawdi Haus, trying to determine how many our other chickens had laid.

"One." Mark answered, his face growing half-mournful, half-comical. "A last gift."

Do you know what I did?
I cried!

I was washing dishes in the sink, and a few of my tears fell down into the soapy water. I pulled it together within a few minutes, never having made a sound, and I don't think my mom and Steven even realized I had been crying. After all, it was silly, really... the chickens went to a good home with a young couple who had some little kids who would love them and keep them for pets, with the bonus of the occasional egg just for fun. But I'm going to miss them.

Sometimes there comes a time in our lives when we have to "let go" of things... and I don't like letting go. I like holding on. But if I always hold my precious 'things' close in a tight-fisted little grasp... then it won't be possible for me to receive, open-handed, the new gifts that the One who loves me most wants to give me.

So... I've let go, and my hands are open. :)


  1. Awww... I'm sorry. Chickens are *so* cute and they can be sweet too. I know it was hard to let them go.

    We used to have chickens, too, when I was about four or five. I still remember them, and I really want some more when I grow up.

    have a great week!

  2. I love your last paragraph Julia. SO true. I know what you mean. Sometimes the tings we have to let go of are not physical but ideas and dreams that we have had. But since we have such a wonderful and loving heavenly Father, we can know and trust that whatever He gives and takes is best for us!

    Hugs to you,
    Bethany <3

  3. aww.. that's sad. It's funny that we can get attached to animals so easily. While you guys gave your chickens away we're preparing to get some of our own!


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