Born to be wild

I sit here with so many words in my brain, things I might say, things perhaps I should not say, in a word:


On Tuesday afternoon I heard the little dog from across the street yelp.  I ran out front to see a big green truck stop, wait, then take off.  This truck frequents our street often looking for goodies in our junk piles we place out for monthly collection.  He usually turns at he end of the lane and goes back out to the main road.  Not this time.  This time he had the nerve to drive through our neighbors property to get to the road on the other side!

Thankfully, little Payden is none the worse for the event.

Later that afternoon Bob came home and said, “I need your help!  Chuck says the new neighbor has run over Miss Dixie!”

I never heard a thing.  Surveying the road out front of our house I clearly see by the feathers that she hit her and kept right on going.  I followed the trail of feathers leading back into our yard to find her cowering under a bush.  She was badly hurt and I knew what needed to be done.

You may find it odd for someone who raises chickens for the table to have a hard time with

what needs to be done,

but it remains that I did.

Since Tuesday I kept waiting for the lady next door to come to me and say she was sorry, or at least to tell me a lie, but she has not.  I suppose she could just be feeling ashamed, but don’t believe that is the case.

Like that  guy in the truck, the same afternoon, she just drove on and ostensibly couldn’t care less.  People like that bother me.  I want to tell her about Dixie.  About how she came to be wild, about her run-ins with owls, hawks, tomato loving neighbors, and wayward dogs.  I want her to know about how she had been a survivor for all these years, and how just recently, she had started laying at home again and hooked onto my other chickens in the chicken yard.  (Although she still preferred to roost high in the tree out back.)

I want her to care.

However, when she kept going that afternoon, and has not come to me to say anything in the way of regrets, I simply know that she does not care.  To her Miss Dixie was just a stupid chicken in the road.

Goodbye, Miss Dixie

Looking for adventure
In whatever came her way…
She was  born
Born to be wild
She could fly so high
I never thought she’d die (not like this)
Born to be wild
Born to be wild

With deepest apologies to Steppenwolf   😉


39 thoughts on “Born to be wild

  1. Deb Weyrich-Cody says:

    Oh Lynda, I’m so sorry to hear about the actions of these ignorant/ uncaring people – or (I hope) at the very least, terribly ashamed – in your neighbour’s case… Just know that, if they have even a whisper of good conscience, guilt will plague them until/ unless they apologise.

  2. duck duck goose says:

    Im so sorry Lynda.

    I raise geese and chickens for meat but have my pet flocks as well. Some of my geese are over 10 now and I have some ancient layers as well, old friends…. very few people understand the love you and a bird can share. But they bond so hard and we are so receptive to that behavior as humans…I have cried buckets over my pets (and the meat birds too).


    • Lynda says:

      Lillian, it is sad. Chickens aren’t like deer, they don’t jump out into your path. They aren’t like wild birds who fly into your path either. She was simply in the middle of the road when she was struck.

  3. katechiconi says:

    Send her an invoice for ‘vet bills and replacement of livestock’. She may finally feel something if her heart lies in her wallet rather than in the place the rest of use to feel sadness and remorse. Any argument, and you could respond by saying that next time you see anything of hers in the street, you’ll be sure to run it over, since clearly it’s fair game. Not that you’ll do any of these things, of course, but it’s OK to dream about retribution… Poor Miss Dixie.

      • katechiconi says:

        I empathise with Crazy Chicken Lady. I had foxes decimate not one but two flocks of chickens. I got home from work to find a snowstorm of feathers and a couple of stiffening corpses in the big run but no sign of the rest. I have no idea to this day how the vermin got in (I checked every inch of the 7 ft fence), but it had me in tears each time.
        Perhaps some chicken poop smeared on her door handle…? Or where she’ll walk it into the house?

  4. Jane says:

    Sorry to read about Miss Dixie. Whether they are dogs, cats, horses, fish or a chicken, we do get attached to them and they have their own character. Even though I had to kill a lot of poultry and other bigger livestock, it was never easy (there is no pleasure in killing) and when they are pets it is much harder. We’ve enjoyed hearing about the adventures of Miss Dixie through your blog. She’ll live on in that way…

    • Lynda says:

      Jane, it really isn’t is it? Even for food it is difficult, and I never want to become blasé about it. It would dishonor the gift to my table.

      I hadn’t thought of it, but you are right, her stories will always be here. 🙂

  5. ladyofthecakes says:

    Aw, Lynda 😦 😦 On the other hand, Miss Dixie died just how she lived: free.

    That crappy neighbour’s crappy behaviour is another story. But Miss Dixie’s brethren will avenge her. Am thinking campylobacter…

    • Lynda says:

      Pam, she was a wild chicken heart, but oh so fun. I think you met her when you were here. Did you know she used to come to breakfast every morning when I called her name? And never to “chick-chick-chick” like the other silly chickens. It is strange not to see her silly self out there in the mornings, or putting herself to roost in the holly tree before sundown.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Julie. There is a custom here in Alabama to put up little memorials where people have perished in accidents on the road… I am thinking of making a small one under the big oak tree for Miss Dixie. Not for Dixie, nor for me, but for the person who didn’t care. Sort of a passive aggressive statement to her that I was the owner and that she is missed. Too silly?

  6. shoreacres says:

    I’m so sorry, Lynda. She was a sweetie, there’s no denying that. People who think it’s impossible to get attached to a chicken, or who use the phrase “just a chicken” just don’t get it. But she had a good life with you. Are there dangers in being free-range? Of course. But “free” still beats the alternative.

    • Lynda says:

      Linda, true there are dangers out there, but she seemed able to keep safe from the natural ones for all these years. She had outlived all my penned/restrained chickens too. Must have been all that exercise scratching up and consuming the natural grub she found. 🙂

  7. LB says:

    Lynda, it’s hard enough to grieve a loss, but to know that someone doesn’t have the heart to reach out, just adds to the burden.
    My thoughts are with you.

    • Lynda says:

      Thank you, Laurie. I have given this a lot of thought over the past week and in the end, I hope she was shocked when it happened and that whatever distracted her, that she will be more attentive from now on. I would hate for it to be one of the kids on our street the next time.

  8. Littlesundog says:

    Lynda, I’m so sorry about Miss Dixie. I know our first thoughts are always passionate ones about our flock when there is tragedy. I would hope the woman maybe didn’t even know she hit Miss Dixie. And maybe a better way of handling the situation is to ask her to report any loose “livestock” to you if she sees them on the road. I’d still offer her extra eggs. I know I have assumed the worst a few times, only to have to eat crow later when the situation wasn’t at all how I made it out to be. Proceed with caution. 🙂

    • Lynda says:

      Thanks, Lori. Unfortunately, if I were to approach her I would surely react in one of only two ways. Crying (don’t want to go there) or acidic in my effort not to be emotional (I don’t want to go there either.) So, not to worry, my choice is just not to go there. I did think of a passive aggressive third option… to put a little marker out by the big oak tree that reads: RIP Miss Dixie. Then at least she would know the chicken was mine. 😉

      You are the second person to mention that she might not have known she ran over Miss Dixie. (The other person sent me an email suggesting she should be exonerated for some of the reasons below.) Here are my thoughts about that. And please don’t feel that the following is a lecture. It is simply how I feel about this incident and how her or another persons distracted driving has the potential to be fatal to humans on the road.

      ~ Miss Dixie may be small but she was a white chicken on the blacktop in broad daylight on a sunny afternoon. The driver had perfect visibility and therefore (I presume) was distracted while driving…

      ~ If you are behind the wheel and moving you need to keep your eyes on the road and paying attention to what is going on. No adjusting of mirrors or seat belts, no *farding, and definitely no texting on your cell phone.

      ~ At any given time of day there are children on this little cul-de-sac of a country road. I’d hate to think her inattentiveness would some day injure one of them.

      I think you know me well enough to see that the comments from others and my responses to them were just a way to process and let it go. Better here than in real life. Yes? 😀

      DEFINITION Farding: To apply makeup. I love this word. 😉

  9. Playamart - Zeebra Designs says:

    ex;eriences like yours remind us of how different we all are, and we realize that not everyone has evolved into the sensitive type of person (like you) that truly makes this world a better place. my heart often finds compassion for these kind of people, as they must feel quite empty inside b/c their focus is on themselves and not on others – no matter if it’s a person or a precious chicken or even the little insect that crawls across the page of a book. we are also able to note the special spirits of the more-evolved person, who walks with an aura of goodness, and by example helps others to become better people..

    you have touched many with this post, and maybe all who have read it will remember to acknowledge that all God’s creatures are worthy of kindness.

    i am so sorry.

    • Lynda says:

      You are so kind, Lisa. I have calmed down since the incident, but see a disturbing trend in the wings. We as a society are becoming desensitized and loosing our respect for all living things. When I was in the classroom I used to teach this ethic through a simple little poem by Christina G. Rosetti:

      I just learned this morning that she wrote it in 1872. It is very simplistic, but remains one of my favorites to this day. ❤

  10. claire93 says:

    my three hens all have their own personalities, so I can totally understand how you felt about Miss Dixie. Sadly, so many people in the world don’t give a d***.

    • Lynda says:

      They surely do not, Claire.
      Yes, the little hens do have individual personalities! It is fun to see who’s top hen, who’s the brave one, who’s independent, etc.

  11. pattisj says:

    I wonder if she knew she hit her, or if she saw her heading home, thought she was all right. It’s sad, either way. It sounds like she was born to be wild.

    • Lynda says:

      Patti, she actually came to me to apologize (after I complained to told her landlady, who is my neighbor) and claimed that she never saw a thing. I went on about the kids, dogs and cats who occupy the road every day, and threw in about the little boy on the corner who uses a wheelchair to get around… and then I finished her off by sending her home with a dozen of my chicken’s eggs!

      My neighbor thought I was nuts to give her the eggs, but I told her I was killing her with kindness. Or to put it another way…

      On the contrary:
      “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
      In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”

      Romans 12:20 New International Version (NIV)

      One of my favorite admonishments from the Bible. It seems counter-intuitive but in almost every case it gets better results than say… turning into the Crazy Chicken Lady. 😉

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