A few years back my son, Patrick, bought a bunch of silky chickens. These little cutie pies look like they are lounging in soft fluffy pajamas all day long.
They have sweet dispositions. The hens are wonderful moms. They will get in the mood for a family and be such good setters that they will sit on anything that looks remotely like an egg. For instance, a golf ball looks like a potential baby to a broody mamma silky at times.
These beauties were out scratching on a hillside one morning when I was in my back yard. All of my chickens are completely free range. This makes their eggs a wonderful golden orange color. The taste is magnificent or at least as magnificent as an egg has the potential to be… if I am being totally honest.
Anyway, I looked out to enjoy the beauty of my little darlings scratching for tiny little delicacies in the earth. Horror of horrors, I saw a red fox pounce upon one of my beautiful, innocent little birds. I screamed and yelled at the fox, hoping he would become frightened and drop my fluffy beauty. But no, he started sauntering off at a leisurely pace with a mouth full of fluff.
I called my son. “Get your gun! A fox has a Silky and he’s running away!”
My son comes bounding out of the back door with a shot gun slung over his shoulder. I quickly point out the direction the fox headed.
“He went up the hill and under the gate. I think it’s too late.” I cried with distress.
If I had to guess, from my back yard to where the gate at the top of the hill was is about 1/8 mile hike.
My son didn’t delay. He jumped the fence and took off running up the hill. Barefoot as usual, it didn’t even seem to faze him.
I pulled up the rear. My running days look more like fast walking. I did my best to keep up, but when I got to the top of the hill, breathless I might add, I couldn’t see Patrick nor the fox nor my beautiful little Silky girl.
I went through the gate. Off to my left was a dense thicket of briers and small trees. I could hear rustling in the briers.
“Patrick, is that you?”
More rustling, no answer. I was seriously concerned that the fox might come right back out where I was with no weapon to pound the thieving devil.
Obviously something is about to emerge from the woods there. I back away scanning for any sight.
“Dear God, pleases protect Patrick. Dear God please protect me. Dear God, I know it’s pretty useless to ask, but please protect my little bird.”
Would you believe that beautiful little girl popped out of the woods? If I had not been there, I would never have believed it myself!
She was dazed and bleeding. It wasn’t hard to catch her at all.
“Patrick! The Silky is here. I have her! She’s alive!” No answer back.
“Dear God, please help me know what to do. If it is good, please help me know how to help my Silky. And, please protect Patrick and bring him back safely.”
Patrick pushed his way out of the woods. His brows knitted together.
“Fox got away. At least he’s going to be hungry tonight.”
We walked back to the house examining the little Silky along the way. She is hurt really badly.
“Should I just put her out of her misery?”
“No, I don’t want to do that. She escaped and didn’t make a sound through out the whole ordeal. Let’s put her in a cage and see how she is tomorrow morning.”
I put fresh water and special food in the cage with her. I knew this was a pretty useless endeavor. Chickens don’t recover from wounds that are that bad.
“Dear God, please help me know what to do. In Jesus name amen.”
The thought came to me that I should put some lavender essential oil on her. At least it might be soothing for her in her last hours.
I went to the kitchen and poured some olive oil into a small glass. I dropped a few drops of lavender essential oil into the olive oil. I took this concoction out to the cage and poured it on my Silky. She hadn’t moved from the place I left her. That was a bad sign. I knew there wasn’t much hope for the little girl.
I was sad for her. I was a bit angry a the fox. I prayed again, only this time more sensibly.
“Dear God, I think I am being selfish asking you to let my Silky live. Please take her life quickly. I hate to see her suffering. I know she has to be in a lot of pain. Perhaps she is even in shock since she has not let out a sound through out the whole ordeal.”
The next morning I walked out to the cage where I had left my beautiful battered and bruised little cutie pie. To be honest, I almost didn’t want to even go. I knew she was most likely dead.
I couldn’t believe it. That little cutie pie was alive! And, she had moved a little from where I had placed her the day before. That was a good sign.
I don’t name all of my chickens, but this little girl was special! She was given a 2nd chance. She needed a name. But maybe it was too soon. Maybe she still wouldn’t make it. After all, she still had a big gaping open wound. How could she possibly survive that? Did the lavender help?
I went inside and fixed another lavender olive oil cocktail. I caught her, but it wasn’t as easy as the day before. That was a good sign. One thing that kept causing me to be puzzled was that she never squawked even when I caught her. That was really unusual.
I poured the lavender cocktail on her a few times during the day.
“Wow, Lord, thank you for helping my Silky. If it is good, please let her live and please help me know what to do. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.”
One thing I know for sure… You never know what is going to happen until it’s over.
The next day when I went out to her cage, she had laid an egg. She also had no interest in letting me catch her. That is normal chicken behavior. Her cage is rather large for me to pin her down. I was afraid I would do more harm than good if I caught her to pour more cocktail upon her. So, I just left her alone.
Now I knew what her name had to be. Gracie. Her second chance at life was pure grace from God. Isn’t she just gorgeous? Scarred perhaps, but her fluffy pajamas covered it up pretty good from one side. The scarring was there, but unless you knew to look for it, it wasn’t too noticeable.
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