Love, young love,
I hope you are well.
At least we now both
Have a story to tell.
—Keaton Henson, “Sarah Minor”
I should have known by the way she spun in a circle as she moved among the pine shavings, even somersaulting as she crashed into the other chicks. Sometimes, she kept one eye closed.
Soon, she couldn’t stand up without tipping over. It turns out she was “stargazing”, looking skyward, for she had wry neck, a neurological condition perhaps due to a vitamin deficiency or an injury sustained during her travels to the farm.
If she had a fighting chance, we were going to give it to her. We held her tiny yellow body. We fed her electrolytes with a dropper. We positioned her in a little cup filled with soft pine shavings. We kept her warm.
Still, Sarah Minor made weak little peeps as she continued to look to the sky. She didn’t seem to be getting better.
Chickens already have wings, so getting to heaven would be easy. She wouldn’t need angel wings.
All of the little boy’s sadness came through the five-day old chicken whose stay here was short. His own life’s loss and grief came as tears for a lost soft feathered friend. There were other chickens in the flock, but none was Sarah Minor.
“I think I just felt her going to heaven,” said the boy.
Sarah Minor died.
We wrapped her lifeless body in a soft white cotton cloth embroidered with tiny white flowers.
We set her into the farm’s earth, tied up with all her little chicken hopes and chicken dreams. Sarah, we were so glad that you came. Even though your time here was short, we know you visited for a reason.
Sarah, I love you.