ODE to Cleo, the flightiest bird

ODE TO CLEO, the flightiest bird
Rest In Peace (Springtime, 2014-7/11/2018)

You were the spaz of my flock, Chicken Little. I always said that you would be the bird to alert the rest of the ladies to trouble, whether it was present or not. Your mind saw flights of fancy, escaping from many an imaginary foe. However, in your favor, you probably did save each of your feathered sisters multiple times from the hawks and eagles that stalked our backyard.

Your sweet little cream-colored eggs had one ever-so-slightly pointed end that you consistently laid for my family. You were, indeed, the first of my girls to lay. For that I am grateful.

But I am super sad about one thing: Cleo, I never once got to touch you; you never let me. Except for that one time I opened the nesting box and you were laying. I began to gently stroke your lovely black & white speckled feathers and, with vengeance in those angry yellow and brown eyes for such an atrocity, you pecked me so hard you drew blood. I may or may not have smacked you. I think I still have a scar to remember you.

You even died while I was gone and someone else had to bury you.

There were times that I wanted to hold you and look you over for mites, powder your bottom with diatomaceous earth, put lavender and vanilla on you when the gnats were biting, and soak you in a cool bath when the heat was too much.

Though you were my spectacular Egyptian Fayoumi, bred to survive heat conditions, you ended up dying because of them…because you refused any help we offered that could save you. I think that is what is saddest of all, Dear Chicken. We could have helped you if you would have let us. You would have been alive right now if you just would have met us halfway.

Bella took your final egg and drew your likeness on it. We will miss you.