A little boy and his Ginger
(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.