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A little boy and his Ginger

by Leesa
(Bellingen, NSW Australia)

My 2 grandsons raised the family 4 hens from day olds. I don't know the breed - beautiful rich red colour. There was Ginger, Bronzie, Henny Penny and Pickle.

Ginger was my eldest Grandson's and Bronzie his brother's. They were maybe 18 months old. My eldest grandson, now 9, is an absolute animal lover. And he loved his Ginger so very much. I have never seen a boy and a chicken have such a bond. He would run to the coop every morning to let them out and he was the one every afternoon to put them back in their coop.

When he came home from school, he'd call Ginger and she would come running to him. He would carry her and kiss her for hours.

We live two doors down in a semi rural area in north coast NSW, and most afternoons after getting home from school my grandson JJ would carry Ginger down to say hi and get a cuddle from Noni. I often saw my beautiful little JJ sitting in the garden under a tree with Ginger in his lap, just gently stroking her and chatting with her.

Once we thought we'd lost her to a neighbour's Staffy dog. We searched and searched, and then we heard her and she heard JJ, and they both literally ran to each other - JJ arms outstretched, Ginger wings spread.

He scooped her up and they hugged and hugged.

Yesterday morning, Ginger was found so close to death in the coop. No apparent reason. She looked dead, eyes closed and very cold, no movement.

The strangest thing happened which we all witnessed. When JJ cried out her name she moved her tail and her beak opened and closed a few times. It was like when she heard his little voice the last bit of life left in her said goodbye to him.

I have never seen a little boy cry so hard. I cried with him, we all cried. Today his Poppy will help him carve out a tombstone for Ginger and he can paint it and decorate it and we will bury her somewhere in the garden where JJ can sit and be with her when he wants.

Sadly I don't have any photos of JJ and Ginger. My grandson is a beautiful, blue eyed little boy and Ginger was a very beautiful hen.

Anyone who has loved a chicken will understand my grandson's heartache. A boy and his Ginger.

Comments for A little boy and his Ginger

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So sad
by: Marcia Hamilton

I'm sitting here reading this and my heart is broken, such a sad tale. I wish you had taken some pictures and I'm sure you do now, too.

It's so heart breaking when our pet chickens die without warning. It seems they do this and I've lost two like this, one I held in my arms after I heard her flapping in the kitchen. I wrapped her in a dish towel and held her until she died, just moments later.

Pictures are invaluable and I have so many good ones of my girls. JJ sounds like a wonderful little boy with a very kind and gentle nature. Will you, have you gotten him another little chick? I hope so.

Thank you for that wonderful story.

A lovely tribute.
by: Cath

What an absolutely lovely tribute to a very special hen, and to your grandson, Leesa. He sounds like a very special little boy, and she sounds like a very special hen.

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us about his love and his loss. Making a gravestone for her sounds like a wonderful way for him to pay tribute.

She was loved and so well cared for, and she knew it. Not many chickens in this world can claim that.

Sending love and healing thoughts to you and to your grandson, JJ.

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