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Juveli (c. February 2011 — April 9, 2012)

April 11, 2012

Monday evening Jude and I were wrapping up several hours of planting blueberry bushes.

The whole family had been enjoying the venture.  Slinkee and Ollie wrestled for awhile in

the newly-turned dirt.  The chickens very much appreciated the easy access to worms.

They would venture outside the fence  on sorties at times, but stayed within eyesight.


As the dimming light nudged us toward the house, Slinkee quit her quixotic quest of ridding

the farm of robins and herded three of the hens to the coop.  She ran back to  us to report

this.  Jude asked her where the fourth chicken was.  Slinkee led her to Juveli’s corpse in the

back yard.


We think Juveli wandered away from the flock and resisted Slinkee’s redirection.  Slinkee

apparently overreacted, breaking Juveli’s neck.  There were no other marks on the body.


We both started yelling at Slinkee.   Jude put her in the laundry room until we could finish

up in the garden.  Then we took her to the coop, where we explained  the situation to the

other girls.  Brenda and Sally took it stoically.  It’s difficult to read them emotionally.  Hudi

squawked and turned her back to us.


I took Juveli to our friend Lee.  He was not well-acquainted with her.  While being respectful

of her passing, he was thankful to have a fresh chicken dinner.  Too upset to drive home in

silence, I dueted with Willie Nelson on “The Red-headed Stranger”.


I duly notified Juveli’s namesake, who mentors me on my blogging.  She accepted it with the

grace and pragmatism one expects from a resident of Minneapolis.  (She’s a Twins and Vikings

fan, after all.)  “Oh, no,” she e-mailed, “Poor Juveli!  So pretty, so young!”  She signed it “Juveli,

the person”.  I agree.  I feel that Juveli the chicken still had her best months ahead of her.


We now have half of our original flock left.  We’re planning to double the size of the coop and

buy several more hens.  Several neighbours have said they’d buy eggs from us.  But if that

means grieving the loss of each employee, I don’t know if I’m that much of a capitalist.

  1. Gordon permalink
    April 11, 2012 9:22 am

    R.I.P. Juveli!

    • April 12, 2012 8:37 am

      Thanks, Gordie. You would have liked her.

  2. April 11, 2012 10:41 am

    Ahhhh! Hearing about the demise of Juveli is one thing – reading the story of her death is freaking me the heck out! Signed, Juveli – the very much alive – person

    • April 12, 2012 8:44 am

      Please bear in mind that you’re tougher than she was. Please let summergale know you’re alright. And thank you for your continuing existence.

  3. April 11, 2012 11:40 am

    Oh no! Poor Juveli!! My condolences…. now I guess you’ll have to consider repopulating your flock!

    • April 12, 2012 8:45 am

      Plans are in the works, beanie.

  4. summergale permalink
    April 11, 2012 6:06 pm

    Jumpin Bejezzus you gave me a heart attack. I know Juveli!! (the person!)!!

    • April 12, 2012 8:47 am

      I regret the cardiac spike. That was clearly not my intention. I was hoping that having Juveli the chicken’s approximate birthdate in the heading would be enough of a distinction.

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