Pascale was a favorite of ours. She had been through four farms with us. She would often travel in a wax harvest box in the cab of the truck. Keeping one eye trained on Nick while he drove. She was raised with Florence the chick. Saturday was the third and final attempt on her life. A Carolina hawk and a suburban Boston fox had tried in vain in years past.
She is our first fatality of the season. A reminder that the fox kits are hungry and the mamas are in search of easy food. Pascale was our mascot. The duck that thought she was a chicken. Everyone who visited knew her and most grew quite fond of the chicken who could swim.
When we followed what looked like fox tracks accompanied by a dragged body we found her, dead on a boulder and missing her left breast. Nick fetched her for me and reminded me of my options for burial. The ground was frozen. The dogs were hungry. The fox was, likely, still hungry. Unable to break ground and unwilling to see the dogs destroy her on the front lawn, I walked her to the stone wall that boarders my favorite hill on the property. I lay her there, on a particularly noble looking stone and gave a eulogy similar in its emotional absurdity to so many I have given before. I hoped the fox would come back for the rest of her. Perhaps stalling a further attack on the chickens by a few days.
Now we are left with a duck-less chicken coop and seven of her big lovely white eggs. I'm thinking of making a soufflé. I once took Nick to a restaurant in San Francisco that only serves soufflés. Savory and sweet. I remember walking through the back kitchen on my way to the washroom and there was the largest bowl of eggs I have ever seen. I love the decadence of a soufflé. So it will be. Something loud and ostentatious to honor the biggest and most vocal chicken we had.