"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Friday, April 4, 2008

Goodbye Jasper

Almost six years ago, we were able to purchase the home of our dreams.. the someday farm of my dreams.. That very first spring I learned that feed stores have so much more to offer than feed and seed. I happened to wander in for okra seed during Easter week. Hearing the sweetest squeaks ever, I followed the sounds to the back of the store and there in a large container, were balls of yellow fluff and the sweetest little webbed feet ever! Upon picking several up and seeing their permanent smiling faces, my love for ducks was born as well as the beginning seeds of my farm. Jasper, Annabelle, and Betsy came home with me in a brown paper bag. With a little information from the feed store manager and the toughness of these little ones, I learned my way through to raise and care for them. Betsy died a couple of years ago, leaving Jasper and Annabelle as the barnyard couple. The were in-separable, following each other all over the grounds. Annabelle laid eggs a few times, tried to sit on one for 20 minutes and gave motherhood up. Jasper loved Annabelle. He watched over her and protected her from anything that approached. They had their own separate pin together because of his aggressiveness. This morning, just before dawn, I went out on my usual rounds, starting with the chickens and ducks. And my heart stopped in sorrow to find Jasper lying motionless on the ground with Annabelle lying close beside him. Something in the middle of the night,(looks like a small fox or skunk) pulled and dug at the wiring of their pen. Jasper being the aggressive protector he is, apparently stretched his neck out with his head down as he always does, and the predator grabbed him, leading to Jasper's death. Poor Annabelle. I put her in a nesting pen for the day to rest and to watch her. I have other drakes that will certainly be glad to be with her if she accepts them. This is one thing I have had to get used to in this new life I have dreamed of living. The heartache is as full and plentiful as much as the joy and harvest. Every year, we have lost pets and every year I vow I will not do this again! And every year the feed store beckons me with it's treasures. I have met people who raise different animals and have not much to say in the death of them. It's basically a way of life to them. I wander if I well ever get to that point where I will stop naming each creature and mourning it's death. All I do know at this time, even though there is heartache, there is still so much joy in watching these creatures grow. I don't think I will ever grow tired of a rooster's crow in the early morning hours, and even though the coyotes are horrible, what would it be out here without their late night serenade? So, I now have pen strengthening to do. This is my working weekend where I am tilling up the sections for pumpkin, melon, cantaloupe, black-eyed peas and zucchini. Sweetie almost has the greenhouse finished. If the wind would just calm down, he could get the panels in for me. I can hardly wait. Thanks everyone for your prayers concerning my last post. Maybe with the good Lord's help and time, I will have a happy post on that subject someday. Hope you all have a good weekend. Blessings


J & J Acres said...

I too have feelings for everyone one of our little creatures. I was sad when we lost a couple of chicks to a chicken hawk, I can't imagine losing any of them now that I have gotten to 'know' them. My heart goes out to you and I know that I'll never be able to view our animal's death as a normal occurence. I get too attached!!

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oh, no.... I'm so sorry, Kathleen-
I've had animals all my lfe, but I've NEVER gotten used to the hurt of one of them dying.
I know how you feel. People who think, "it was just a duck", or "it was just a chicken"...they really don't understand. It's like losing a family member! I am truly sorry!

LindaSueBuhl said...

We've buried several of our goats on the property - couldn't just dump them to be eaten by vultures when their time had come. We get attached also, I'm learning to not get SO attached to the little males in my goat herd because their purpose in life is to be meat. Priorities are important - people have souls but animals have spirit - so we can love 'em and take care as best we can. I am still sorry for your loss - predators eat things - I wish they didn't eat MY things.

LindaSueBuhl said...

Didn't mean I don't mind that they eat other people's animals - I was trying to acknowledge that each creature was created to serve a purpose.

chickengirl said...

I know how you feel. Every single one of my 20 grown chickens has a name and is loved. We almost lost our 6 ducklings to the neighbor's dogs last Sunday, but amazingly, they all survived! Check out http://itsachickenthing.blogspot.com/ for the full story on them. Nice blog! Keep up the great work on your farm!

Jane Smith said...

Hi Kathy,
I love you & your blog. Take care. Things will work out.