I've decided to bury
Glory's ashes beneath her favorite shade tree by
The Courtyard pond, beside her nest of hay that
I refreshed every day for her. That's where she
I still have Destiny's
ashes and Joven's ashes in tins inside our
house. Perhaps it is time to return them to
their flock as well...
When I was growing up and
lost animals that were so dear to me I thought
my heart would split in half, my mother would
tell me that God takes our animal friends away
because they have all the love they needed while
here on Earth and because there are other
animals out there who are desperately waiting
for their turn at that love. God makes that
space for us and for them.
I’ve always held those
words close to my heart. We heal them and they
heal us. Yes, there will be more behind Glory
and yes it will devastate me every time, but
while they are here, I am going to soak up every
bit of them and breathe them into my soul.
I keep checking on Miri.
She was kind of keeping to herself yesterday. I
couldn’t bear it anymore, so I took a bucket and
went out into the streambeds and raked over
leaves and picked up a few hundred nightcrawlers.
Back to the pens. I gave everyone in the other
pens a few and then went to the ladies pen I
pulled out handful upon handfuls of them and
scattered them all around while six hens
gathered at my feet, Elijah escaped the madness
and went to the pond after a few bites and poor
miss Miri stood by herself.
But I would not give up. I
kept throwing the worms around her and she
finally gave in and started eating them all up
and wagging her tail and waiting for more. After
they were all gone, I kept making eye contact
with her and wiggling my hand at her (mimicking
the way a drake courts with his head and neck)
and she kept looking at me and wagging her tail
and smiling. I’m sure I saw a smile. And I
began to realize that in all the time Miri and
Glory were here, Glory always drew our mutual
attention. We always walked behind her to make
sure she was okay (which she always was, the
strong little bugger) and I always put a bowl of
water down in front of Glory, which she hated
and would walk over to the regular water—wanting
to be just like everyone else. In the year and 7
months they have both been here, Glory always
pulled my focus and Miri's too. I have always
loved Miri, but I have never taken full
advantage of the opportunity to know her.
And now there we were…
together… at this strange bridge. Where we
looked at each other and begin to see each other
for the first time. And then she sat under one
of the small trees near the pond and we looked
at each other for the longest time. And then a
worm fell out of the branch and onto her bill
then down to the ground. And she ate it with
this surprised where did that come from
look. I smiled and said, “that was from
Glory.” Sure it may have landed in the
little tree by accident while tossing them to
Miri, but Glory timed its falling just right a
little while later.
And so I retired Miri
yesterday. She officially became a permanent
Majestic duck. She will never be adopted out. I
left the pen for a bit and smiled and wiggled my
hand at her the whole way and she watched me and
I saw the look of hope come into her eyes again.
We are going to become good friends, she and I.
And when Glory’s ashes come
home, I will bury her under her favorite tree—in
Miri’s pen. And we will all be together again.
join us, Miri...