Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Photo copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved.

This photo is almost two years old, but the black chicken in the foreground, the one closest to the camera? That's Cinder.

She and Ember were virtually identical twins; the only way I could tell them apart was by the size of their combs. Cinder's was smaller. 


On New Year's Eve, I thought it was Ember who was sick — a natural assumption, since she'd been badly egg-bound more than a year ago, and we almost lost her. But it was her sister, Cinder. I expected that we would lose her that night — at most, by early New Year's Day.

She surprised us both by hanging on for four full days.

There's not a whole lot to be done for an egg-bound chicken, particularly when it moves as fast as it did this time. Oh, there's such a thing as surgical intervention, but the cost is enormous, and I doubt there's a single vet in the country who would know how, much less be willing to do it. There are band-aid measures we can take, and it's worked in the past on occasion, but this was Cinder's first bout with it, and I knew immediately that it would be fatal. She was not, apparently, in any pain, at least, and so we focused simply on keeping her comfortable and as happy as possible.

Shortly after 4 PM today, I knew that it was very close. The cold had slowed her autonomic processes enough to prolong it a bit, but it was clear that it was imminent. I wrapped her in a towel, took her into the studio, and held her in my arms in the warmth until her little body decided that it was time to let her spirit go: 4:24 PM MST. She's buried near Carter's tree, along with a few of the others from years past. 

Oddly, Cinder was always the skittish one, never wanting to be held . . . until the last four days. If we couldn't heal her, at least I could give her that. We love you, little girl.

All content, including photos and text, are copyright Aji, 2017; all rights reserved. Nothing herein may used or reproduced in any form without the express written permission of the owner.

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