Emma closes the coop up at night (we share chicken duties; I have morning chores and Emma is responsible for the evening) and Marshmallow was missing on Tuesday night. We searched and searched in her favorite places, with flashlights in the dark, for many hours, to no avail.
So, I feel the need to have a written memory of her somewhere, out of gratitude for the lessons that she taught us and the moments of happiness and fun (and the tiny little eggs) that she brought us.
She was the first chick that I picked out. She seemed so cheerful and bright, and stood up a little straighter than most of the other chicks so we had no idea that she would stay so small, at maturity she was just about pigeon-sized.
Once, while the chicks were still very young, we had a large tub outside full of water for the ducks to play in. We did not realize that the chicks could fly yet (or rather jump an astonishingly long distance) but we learned it that day, because while we were distracted Marshmallow flew into the tub. Emma spotted her struggling in the water and rescued her, but we were not sure if she was going to make it. She was cold and limp, but Emma warmed and cared for her, raising her in cupped hands up into the sunshine, talking to her and coaxing her to come back around. I kid you not, that little chick responded, eventually held up her head and after an hour or so, perked right back up.
As winter arrived and the snow began to fall, Marshmallow would avoid stepping on the frozen ground when at all possible. In the morning she would fly underneath the back deck, where the snow is usually melted away and hang out there for the day. Alternately, she would fly up and roost in a tree close to the house. There she would remain until Emma came by to round them up, feed, water and close them up for the night, and she would fly to Emma’s shoulder and hitch a ride to the coop, every night.
We miss her terribly. We know that experiencing loss is a part of this journey and coping in healthy ways will continue to be a learning experience, but losing Marshmallow first has been especially painful. She was a gentle, sweet friend.
And we just want to remember her.