{ Magic's Final Trick, Onward }

alOha Friends : )

   We wanted to do a little post on our Black Giant named "Magic" and her departure from the physical realm and journey into that great question mark.

   A little over a week ago, we noticed that she was acting a bit strange: Standing in one place and just staring off at nothing. Pausing mid-step, like a statue, and holding that way for a minute before taking two more steps, and then pausing again, and generally acting lethargic and out of it ...

    This was a sudden change from the recent video that she starred in (below) where she was fighting with the new chickens and trying to stay at the top of the pecking order.

   Our chicken, Marixa, did something similar to this 8 or so months ago, and then she snapped out of it, so at first we just kept an eye on her, hoping it would be the same recovery ... molting? brooding?

    But we found that this was just the start in a slow and drowsy decline for old Magic. We treated her for something called "Black Head" with cayenne water, taken orally with an eye dropper, and colloidal silver (we thought she had Blackhead because her comb had darkened and poop had turned yellow and runny). 

    This can be contagious, so we kept her isolated from the rest of the birds in a cage, but even before we did that, she began to isolate herself, sleeping unguarded under the coop, tucked between a metal barrel and the shed while the other birds slept upstairs.

   I was hopeful that she'd snap out of it and join the living, and she'd eat water melon when the mood was on her, but she stopped drinking water, and wouldn't peck at her food, so I knew her brain was telling her body not to bother, and that she was in some kind of waiting room. Our efforts, well meant, only extended her wait. We were giving her water by the dropper-full towards the end ... just couldn't bare to let her dry up like that.

   I contemplated if it was my duty to take her from this losing battle, but decided that I'd let her live it to the full. She was so sleepy and mellow, like her brain had prescribed her morphine, and she actually seemed quite Zen about the whole thing, just teetering between this life and the next. And although I knew she loved living life as all chickens with freedom do, she didn't seem to be in any kind of pain or fright, so I let her float in her opiate cloud, and I was amazed to see her still with us each new morning.

(Magic Elvis, eating coconut pulp .. her fave !!) 

   It felt nice to care for her, too, even though this wouldn't happen in nature. In the woods, as soon as she was getting sleepy, and pausing too long mid-step, something would have come along and scooped her up. But in this predator free zone, managed by we who go on two legs, death would have to come from the inside out, facilitated by old age or microorganisms .. we didn't know which.

   It was an interesting thing to care for this bird, lifting her from the cage 4 or 5 times a day for her treatments only to feel this Black Giant getting lighter and lighter. She appeared to be on heroin, but would come to just about the time that I'd be opening her beak so juwels could use the dropper. She'd squirm a little, but then look around, like, "oh ... it's you guys again."

   I'm guessing her body had stopped giving off that life energy, and the ants that were harvesting her uneaten watermelon slice would also walk around on her ... I never saw them bite, I would have moved her elsewhere if that was the case, but it was more like they were just charting out this soon to be opportunity. The flies did the same. I'd never seen ants or flies on the chickens before, but I guess nature sees the signs the soonest.

   We had been keeping her in the cage to keep her scat out of the yard ... also, when she was a little more mobile, I'd have to crawl under the deck (spooky) to get her out for her treatments. But I'd been watching her for a few days, and since she wasn't eating, she wasn't pooping either, so in the end, when she wouldn't even open up her claws when I'd set her down, I decided that I'd let her out of the cage, so she'd feel like a free bird for the end of it .. and she could pick her own place to float on.

   She ended up under the coop again, tucked and snuggled between the barrel and shed wall. I've heard that people with different emotional issues react well to the application of pressure on their body, like a hug. I've seen wetsuit style wraps for dogs, people swaddled tight with blankets, and there's even been an innovation in some slaughter houses, where the cow will be hugged and compressed at the last moment by large padded machines, bringing down their anxiety levels before the hook and the hammer. (this last one was invented by a well known autistic woman with a great connection to animals.)

   Anyway, I saw Magic's positioning as this same thing. Supported on all sides, head tucked down between the tightest spot in the nook and letting go. It's a beautiful thing, letting go, surrender. A luxury afforded to some at the very end of this great fight we call life.

   I came back out later, compelled to make a short film about the bliss of this non-violent, non-dramatic exit, and I noticed that one of the other girls had nestled up beside her and layed an egg. This is a rare spot to lay an egg, and I liked the idea that somebody got cuddled up there for a moment and left this token. I took the egg and replaced it with a large crystal lamp, a good luck charm of my own. 

   A huge gust of wind came through the yard and blasted me with dirt and hay, and Magic woke up and looked back at me. She really was a scrappy looking chicken .. must have been old too. All the feathers behind her comb were missing, and she had that male cul-de-sac hairdo, bald rear end and chest, and the feathers in front of her ears were thick and bushy, looking like mutton chops .. and sometimes I used to call her elvis.

   We left for the day, and returning at night, I checked on her, but from sight, couldn't tell if she was here or gone. I patted her on the feathery back, and she raised her left wing just a little. "Stick around as long as you like, Magic." I said. "I'll keep an eye on you.." A furry brown spider crawled across the space between us, and I climbed up into the tree house to do my little bout of paralyzed hallucinations for the night.  

   The next morning she was gone, and I buried her in the woods in a spot where many headstones of lost dogs and cats stand. Good ol' Magic ... you layed the biggest eggs, sang a pretty song, and left this world in a way that I hope to mimic in my old age ... just a slow and peaceful surrender and exit from the frumpy, demanding physical body.

That's all from the Hive for now, loVe,



1 comment:

  1. So long Magic. You will always live on in sweet memory.