On Christmas Day 2015, we came home from a long awaited and joyful family gathering to find that one of our beloved roosters had passed. It would have been a bit easier had he died of old age. But, Floyd, our 6 month old white crested Polish rooster, had fallen victim to a hawk.

He had earned the title of our second dog. He made his way into our hearts as easily as he made his way into our living room- quite often. From baths and blow dryings (per Reece’s insistence) to frequent walks on a chicken leash or in Reece’s arms, she certainly had him spoiled. There will surely be a chapter in a future book devoted to his antics and funny ways.

It’s amazing and beautiful how we humans have such capacity to grieve over animals. Despite popular opinion, there is no such thing as “just a chicken” or “just a pet.”

Our home has been different since that day. After some tears, there was a somber hush for the remainder of Christmas Day. After a couple of days it became a bit easier to talk about Floyd. Yet, it is still strange to go to the pen and see only three chickens. The missing link is quite obvious.

Proverbs 1:5 says “…Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance…” Sometimes we don’t get a clue until life hits us hard. We know what we should do but we neglect to do it. And then…a resounding tragic boom forces us to see the err of our ways. Oftentimes, this boom comes in a more difficult form than the loss of a pet. If only we sought the wisdom of the Lord as we would seek after hidden treasure. Maybe those hard life lessons could be learned in a much gentler way.

Because of the loss of Floyd, we are determined to ensure this type of event does not happen at the Mayfield “mini farm” again. Our chicken area is under construction and will be even more predator proof than before. I certainly wish we had taken more strict precautions long ago. Maybe Floyd would still be basking in the warmth of the blow dryer or falling asleep in Reece’s arms. One thing is for certain. As we add to the chicken family very soon, there will never be another Floyd.

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