I had no choice but to leave the chicken in the laundry room overnight. It had been the same with the little goat wrapped in towels and the kittens in the shoebox.
And so very many other unfortunates over the years.
When life happens here, it usually needs warming. The fight for it may begin outside but often it’s what happens inside that causes it to thrive.
And what happens inside is generally something the father of my children isn’t aware is happening. It’s safer that way.
Oh, the things we do in the house he labors to make nice for us. But you can’t leave cold animals struggling for warm breath outside where they won’t find it. Something must be done, am I right?
Which is why that chicken spent the night in my laundry room. I just couldn’t put her back out in the coop with the temperatures falling. Not after Grace had rescued her. My 14-year-old had found the hen and her sister after the neighbors' dog got into our yard and left them for dead, along with their siblings, feathers scattered in wide swathes across our yard.
Grace found them with breath, both cold, wet, and shivering, upside down in the spongey grass, so she’d lovingly wrapped them in bath towels, one peach, the other mint, and put them in small cardboard boxes in our laundry room. After attending to their wounds, she soon she had them drinking out of a Tupperware bowl and, all warm and cozy, one finally stood, a victory stance!
Good! But not good. For my clean laundry room, anyway. Needless to say, that one soon re-joined her friends, leaving one for an overnight stay.
“There’s a chicken in the laundry room,” Grace’s older sister Rachel said when she returned home later that evening before heading upstairs.
“There’s a chicken in the laundry room,” I told my husband later, just before he stumbled into the room himself.
"There's a chicken in the laundry room Dad!" Gracie joined in.
“The chicken is not staying in the laundry room,” their father said as he walked away to join Rachel upstairs.
“The chicken has to stay in the laundry room, at least until she warms up,” I replied before heading up to bed myself and encouraging Grace to follow me.
Kevin didn’t say a thing.
He knows we have no choice. It's not something we can escape. Given the choice, we will always choose life.
So we had a chicken in the laundry room for the night. Just like the little goat in the bathtub and the kittens in the sink and the puppies in the basement, the rabbit in the box. It was like all those other times, each resolved that warmth was the best measure.
But this time, everything would be just fine.
So it was. The next morning the hen was still alive, perched on the outside of the box, roosting. My laundry room was still in order. No flying about or landing in unacceptable places. No floating feathers. Well, few floating feathers.
No foreign substances anywhere.
Life in triumph!
Needless to say, at this point I had to act quickly. So I bundled that hen up and headed outside across the dewy grass in my bathrobe to her coop, where she was just in time to join an egg-laying party.
It just goes to show you that a good deed is often just that. Good.
No fowl harm is no foul indeed.
And that makes for a brighter day today. The saving of each little life is always the hope of a better tomorrow.
To do nothing to save it would be to give up on our very own.