My beautiful golden rooster, affectionately (and somewhat jokingly) called Goldie Haan (haan is rooster in Dutch), is no more, I fear. I’m quite sure he’s gone actually… And I am much more shook up about it than I would have expected in advance. So here I will write my farewell and ode to Goldie Haan.
My chickens go into their coop by themselves in the evening, after which I close the door. They are safe at night and during the day they run loose on the site. I release them at 7 in the morning and yesterday morning was no different. As always, Goldie and Bella were the first out of the coop, impatiently seeking the freedom of the terrain. I think it is such a beautiful sight — “the gang” on the move! Chickens in various colours and sizes. But when I saw the hens walking around the garden without a rooster about an hour and a half later, I was surprised. He was nowhere to be seen, which was unusual to say the least. Goldie was a good rooster that looked after his pack of five hens. I went looking for him, but found him nowhere. Until I saw a pile of feathers on the site of the sewage treatment plant … golden feathers. And beyond, even more. Oh no…
Two years ago, we sometimes spotted a fox here. It was said that there was a fox burrow at the back of the sewage treatment plant terrain. But that fox was later spotted dead by the side of the road, and I haven’t seen or heard any foxes since. Nevertheless, now I think that Goldie must have been grabbed by a fox after all. I don’t know what else it could be. He was a sizable, strong rooster. I think that a cat would lose out to him and a dog couldn’t easily get through the fence. I climbed under the fence and searched and called, but there was no trace of him anywhere. I also didn’t see any blood and so, I hoped he might be hiding somewhere — terrified and perhaps injured but still alive — and that he would come out again. But that has not happened. Now I really think Goldie is no more…
The hens are a bit out of it. They hang around in the garden a lot now. Bella is, as usual, a little bastard towards Rosie and Vera, and Bettie and Hennie have both been brooding in the coop for a while — on empty nests, because I always take the eggs away. I am also upset. I miss him and I hate that he came to an end like this, still so young. My beautiful golden rooster. Oh, he was also annoying at times. He made an intrusive little crowing noise and often treated his hens very rudely. But he also took good care of them. He was always on the lookout for danger and if a hen was left behind, he came running fast to pick her up and drove her back to the rest of the herd. “Stay on task here now!”, he seemed to say.
Sometimes we looked each other in the eye and then it felt like we had a real connection. I saw something in those eyes — whether it was wisdom, intelligence, or, at the very least, consciousness. I had bought Goldie as a chick and raised him in my Tiny House together with Bella. He really grew up on my lap. Although I had not been able to stroke him for a long time now, I like to think that he remembered that time, that we had a connection. If the door is open, Bella still walks into my Tiny House when she gets the chance. I usually chase her out. Sometimes when I see her try, I call “no!” and raise my finger, and that is often enough. She knows very well that she is not allowed to enter. Yesterday, I just let her come in. She seemed to be so lost. She lay down in the sun on my cork floor and closed her eyes. Unfortunately, I could not take a picture of it. Her buddy is gone, her kind of half-brother. Chickens are more intelligent than most people think. I am sure she is very aware that he is no longer there.
Dear Goldie, you were a beautiful and good rooster. Wherever you are now, I hope you’re not in pain. I already miss you and will often remember you.
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