Every so often you end up with a chicken who can be defined by the word ….. moxie.  I don’t typically name my girls but I may have to name this one. A couple weeks ago (the night of July 4th to be exact) this Rhode Island Red came close to being a late evening snack for a raccoon.

We had spent the day with family at Lake Okoboji and by the time we got home, after the fireworks display, the evening had cooled off nicely. We opened the windows to let some of the cool air in and headed for bed.

We woke, from a deep sleep, to the sound of a chicken squawking in terror. My husband grabbed a flashlight and saw the glowing eyes of a raccoon, who had decided our chicken was extremely edible. He (my husband….not the raccoon) grabbed the gun and headed outdoors.

It didn’t take long and I heard a lot more squawking. My husband came back in the house and told me that, that chicken was one lucky bird. He had found her and put her in the coop with the rest of the girls.  He also told me he wasn’t sure what shape she was in, as it was dark and he could see, by the flashlight, there were lots of feathers in the back yard.

When morning came and I went to let the girls out of their coop, I could see red feathers strewn across the yard. I reluctantly opened the door of the coop, dreading what I would see. I was sure I was going to find a dead or half-dead, bloody chicken.

When I did open the door, the flock of hens blew past me like nothing had happened during the night. I peered in the coop and the only girls still in it were the broody ones that will not leave the nesting boxes.

I started hunting my chicken down, as I was curious to see where all those feathers had actually come from.  I discovered that she had been plucked on her back and on one of her legs. Amazingly, there wasn’t any broken skin!


My husband has actually started calling this girl, “Drumstick” and I have to agree she kind of looks like a walking drumstick!

I cannot believe she escaped from a raccoon with only losing feathers! I also cannot believe that it has not seemed to slow her down at all. She doesn’t seem in the least traumatized by the whole event. She is living life, like any normal chicken and has her feathers have even started growing back in.

The only difference in her behavior is that she no longer hides outside at night anymore. She now makes it a point to be one of the first girls in the coop when evening comes. Somewhere in her little brain she has figured out that following the rules equals safety.

I have a feeling that we, as people, are often like Drumstick.  We like to live on the edge….go where it isn’t safe….and hope for the best. We tend to think that bad stuff will only happen to someone else and we will be okay.  Every so often, that bubble is shattered and if we are fortunate, we will make it safely back in the coop.

I am thinking Drumstick, might end up being an awesome object lesson for my grandkids (and for me!). A lesson that there are rules for a reason. A lesson that when bad things happen to you….don’t let it take over your life. Drumstick is a good reminder that one should live, really live, as long as you are alive.

All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.
– Henry Ellis



42 thoughts on “Drumstick

  1. kindergartenknowledge says:

    Drumstick is one smart cookie! Or at least one smart chickie! I wonder how the raccoon fared that evening? They are pushy little fellows…although we had one who lived in our backyard for a few months. He became huge while living in our yard! We finally figured out why…he was chasing away the cats and enjoying a feast every night!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. rabbitpatchdiary.com says:

    I am so glad the chicken is ok-it is just awful when one is hurt too badly. I still miss my chickens!! Mine did have names, Tillie and Hollywood, nellie etc. My neighbor named Susan and I would go to auctions and buy for one another-she brought me the ugliest chicken I had ever seen once-I named that chicken Susan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Mine do not usually get names, unless they survive something like this! My grandson, James, named one Henry two years ago. I think the original Henry died that year, but we just choose another to call Henry. We always pick the one that is the tamest and the one that doesn’t mind if James holds them.

      Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      After about three years, laying hens no longer lay reliably. I do replace them every three years…..and yes the old ones do go to the stew pot. That is why I never name them. It makes it too hard. I do have one hen who will die of old age as my sister in law gave her to me 4 years ago and she is one of my favorites (yep, I do have favorites!)

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bcparkison says:

    Bless her chicken heart. Must have been awful. Something recently got 12 of my DnL’s hens and now we are on store eggs. Talk about awful …store eggs. We had our hens behind an electric fence and did great until they started disappearing. Never knew if it was a four foot beast or two. Trail cam didn’t help.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      That is so sad! And yes I agree about the store eggs….they are so pale. My husband calls them anemic.
      I would have thought the trail cam idea was great! Can’t believe it didn’t show anything. Shoot.


  4. susieshy45 says:

    I loved the story of Drumstick and your life lesson.
    Two lessons:
    1. Keep to the rules- they are there for a reason.
    2. If for some reason, you are caught napping and get into trouble, remember tomorrow is another day and move on.
    Keeping to the rules does not always keep you safe but most of the time, its true.
    I went through this so recently. I used to be proud and arrogant sometimes, that cancer has not hit my family so there is strong genes in the family.
    Boom ! My bubble burst and now I am in no place to boast. The thing is this incident has made me closer to God. I am drawing power from our Lord and his word. I am trying to learn the meaning of his word so thoroughly that when next I take a hit, I have a weapon ready. Like your little Drumstick, I am running to the Word as fast as I can and as often as I can. I can’t say I am a better person because of it but I feel better like Drumstick.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. houstonphotojourney says:

    Aw, Drumstick is a little trooper! You’re right – he’s a good lesson too! I recently learned how fear can really impact us when, if we faced and survived our fears it made us that much stronger really too. Sorta have a healthy respect like going inside the coop at night but not being fearful so much that you stay in the coop all day either! Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A. Michelle! says:

    Love, love this post Mrs Faye! What great writing. I love how your words weave into wonderful encouragements/ affirmations of how to deal with life. I adore Drumstick’s moxie! Keep doing what you do; it works!

    I’ve been chugging along, busy yet determined to keep up with my blogging community. New internship site and it is wonderful. I’ll blog soon! Keep safe.

    Liked by 1 person

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