Chickadee, the chicken, is dead.
Chickadee didn’t have the best of lives. Her mother decided to stop caring for her as a chick. Then an animal of some sort killed her mother and all but one of her siblings, a chick named Lucky. Shortly after that, the two chicks came into our possession as a birthday present for my 10-year-old daughter. The two chicks quickly became one, though, as Lucky escaped the hutch we were keeping the chicks in and disappeared one night without a trace, leaving Chickadee alone.
We have two other chickens – Haley and Bailey – and we figured we would eventually move Chickadee into the same pen with them. When we tried, though, the other two chickens ganged up on her, pecking her and wounding her so badly we had to move her back out to her own area. She spent a couple of months of relative happiness, laying eggs and enjoying her own space.
Then, this morning, we found her decapitated body inside her pen.
I don’t really believe animals feel or experience thought and emotion like human beings do. I don’t know if they have any real awareness of what is happening to them, other than knowing when they are in danger or when they aren’t. Chickadee probably didn’t know she had a tough go of things. It’s sure hard to deny that she did, though.
People, on the other hand, do know what is happening to them in times of distress, and they process information on an intellectual and emotional level. And some people have really, really crappy lives. They come down with mysterious diseases and ailments that wreck their health. They are abused physically, sexually, or mentally by those who hold power over them. They are abandoned by friends and loved ones. And they feel every bit of it.
Some people are able to take their terrible circumstances and use them as motivation. They become shining testimonies of the power and endurance of the human spirit. Some, though, just can never seem to pick their heads up off the floor. I saw a photo posted on Facebook this week with the words “Sometimes the only difference between a bad day and a good day is your attitude” written over it, and I thought, “The key word there is sometimes. Sometimes a day is just bad, no matter what your attitude is.”
I wondered this morning why an animal would be placed here on earth to endure such hardship. Then I wondered why people would be placed here on this earth to endure the trials they face. I didn’t come up with any answers for either. Really awful people will prosper, and really good people will suffer. Really good people will prosper, and really awful people will suffer. Some who experience calamity will rise above it, others will not. The good days will not always be a matter of attitude. Sometimes they just won’t be there.