Buried another hen on Sunday.
The Burial was not quite as Respectful as the last one owing to Certain Distractions.
As the day turned to dusk, and Husband and I were clearing detritus of gardening from Said Garden, Husband turned to me and said,
'Shall we bury the chicken?'
As you do.
'What chicken?' I asked, looking over to the chicken run, where our four remaining Girls were having their last moments of pecking about before bed. There didn't appear to be a dead one.
Husband reminded me that Dead Chicken was in garage.
'Christ,' I said, remembering. 'She's been dead for about two months.' There had been No Time to bury her when she died, owing to Too Much To Do Syndrome. So I had shoved her into a box and put her in garage. As you do.
'Precisely,' said Husband, in that precise way of his. 'So maybe we should bury her today.'
And so we did.
While Husband was digging a hole near where the potatoes will be sowed next weekend, I busied myself fetching the cardboard box, inside which was Peggy, who had Pegged it at least eight weeks ago.
Rather gingerly, I opened the box, to see that the old girl was looking largely the same, only a tad smellier. And dead, of course.
Spent the next five minutes knocking up a passable cross for the grave (all our pets require such attention) and lugged box and cross over to Husband, where the hole was ready.
Unfortunately, Husband had started an extremely Smoky Fire next to potential Grave.
Thick, yellow smoke swirled about, right where the hole was.
Coughing and spluttering, we hurled poor old Peggy into the hole and staggered back out of the range of smoke.
'Should we get the children?' I asked Husband.
'Naaaaah,' he said, 'Let's just get on with it and then we can have tea.'
'Okeydoke,' said I.
'Shall I say some prayers?' asked Husband.
'Go on, then,' I said, and we held hands and Husband spoke these words.
'Thank you, God, for Peggy, who has probably been in heaven for quite some time now, owing to the fact that my wife has left her to rot in the garage for several weeks.'
We exchanged a Married Look.
'Thank you for all her eggs.....' At this point the smoke became so thick and pungent that we couldn't actually see each other, and therefore had to move back some distance, to get into some fresh air.
After some coughing Husband continued once again.
At this point the wind had whipped up a treat and was enveloping us in Hollywood Type Billowing smoke.
Barely able to make out each other's nostril hair, let alone the grave, had to abandon Funeral Arrangements and go inside to make a cup of tea.
And so we did, after hurling earth on top of dear old Peggy, shoving the cross in over the grave, and taking a last look at our newly sown veggie patch. And, for very clear practical reasons, moving the Dish washer from the middle of the lawn, where it had been put after a clear out of one of the sheds. Which made us swear in quite a Rude Sort of Way.
And as I made our cups of tea, I took a look out across the garden to where our Peggy was buried.
And hoped that she didn't mind the Shambles that was her funeral.
R.I.P. old girl.
And thanks for all those eggs.
We have no picture of Peggy, so here's a picture of Another Brown Hen, sort of like Peggy, with Dilly, one of our Silkies, and Milly, the rabbit. Who, incidently, thinks herself to be a chicken. Welcome to my world.