A very sad day indeed, for me! I have lost my special and favourite chicken – Ruby! We believe she was taken by a local wild cat or badger. She had this naughty tendency to wander out of the garden. She found a gap in the back fence and almost daily we had to look for her out in the church field. Sometimes she took the other two stooges with her as back up, so she wasn’t the only one who was blamed! But yesterday was a different day – she was with us all day and only went missing when the sun went down. It had been raining heavily so we knew she could not fly back over the fence with her rain-drenched feathers. We went looking for her our my gum boots on and with a super powerful torch that light up the fields and beyond – but to no avail. I knew she was cold and wet so at midnight – Hannes and I went out again!! But nothing ……

Early this morning I went out – the same route and there found a patch of feathers. It was Ruby’s! Then we knew she did not have a fighting chance!

I want to remember the playful and cheeky chicken that found her way into my heart the day I picked her from a large clutch of chicks! We had chosen two of them and the second one died before we could name her! So Ruby was alone! She peeped and peeped in her small play pen all forlorn, so every morning she came into bed with us and cuddled under the blanket. To this day, she used to jump on my lap for a snuggle and a cuddle! Just like a little dog! She loved the colour blue – so where ever the blue blanket was, you would find Ruby scratching on it – even if she found it on the bed! She had the full use of the house – she never messed and was always searching and looking for a nook to climb into. Often she would be in the spare room, in a box or between the books on the shelf! We used to scare each other sometimes! I would not know she was sitting there and we would both squack and scream and run out! So funny!

Ruby on the left at 2 weeks old

Ruby in the middle

Ruby when she was sick

Ruby how I will remember her

She would only allow me to hold her without making a huge fuss. There was a time when she was ill. Would not move only lay there. I did not think she would make it. She sat next to me in my office – on the blue blanket – and she would jump up on my lap and perch on my arm. It took two full days before she recovered. It was touch and go, though. But that was the only time she was ever ill – always healthy, always hungry and the first one out in the morning and the last one in at night! She was so cheeky – she was always trying to jump the fence to get to the veggie patch – remember? She was the reason I had to enforce the “feather duster”!! She had loads of character and knew she could get away with murder sometimes!

So – those were the good memories and I will never forget her! She was a special friend!

xxx