Malawi’s memorial

After letting the rooster rest in the refrigerator for a couple of days, I turned him into stock and used the stock and some of the breast meat to make a memorial dinner. I was going to use just his meat, but most of it was too tough, so I added some commercial chicken breasts.

I used paprika to get that red color–matching his feathers, with spinach standing in for his iridescent green tail. Lots of chopped, sautéed veges to thicken the broth. We drank a toast, lit candles, and said a few words commemorating his bravery and loyalty. On her way home, one of the guests saw a fox crossing the road!

I had spent two days doing my best to fox-proof the chicken run, stapling bird net in a looping arc from the top of the fence outward. We’ll see. Now it’s time to wait to see if we get a rooster offspring from the eggs under the broody hen.

On another note, a reader sent this link to a Public Television biography of Robinson Jeffers. She titled it “Ascots and Creakiness,” which aptly describes it!

Death in the morning, an elegy

This morning I woke to squawking from the chickens. I didn’t think much of it; they’re often noisy in the morning. But it went on, and I went out in time to see a large grey fox with feathers in his mouth standing in the corner of the run. He stared as I approached, and then easily climbed the fence and ran off. The ground was littered with feathers, and one hen was trembling with several bald patches, but the real heartbreaking find was Malawi, the rooster, who lay alive but with his neck broken.

Here’s to beautiful, proud Malawi, who always led his flock to food and always waited and ate last. He successfully defended all seven hens from the fox, who went away with nothing for his trouble but a mouthful of feathers.

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