Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Eulogy for a Chicken

2007 - 2007
Malaika, my hen, sadly died on Sunday, February 25, 2007. On Saturday morning, she refused to go out in the field with Rafiki, my rooster, to find food. She stayed all day in the chicken house and began to cough, as chickens do when they are sick. I was told by Maurice, the parish cook and grounds keeper, that she caught an intestinal bacteria and there was not much I could do, but to kill her. I was not willing to accept this and on Sunday I went to a veterinary medicine shop, in Kakamega, a half hour away, to buy chicken medicine. When I returned to the chicken house with the medicine she had already passed away.

So the Lord God formed out of the ground
various wild animals and various birds of the air,
and he brought them to the man to see what
he would call them; whatever he called them
would be their name.
Genesis 2:19

"I will call you Malaika."

Malaika you were a good chicken. You always let me pet you when Rafiki would run away. You always remained calm and did not get excited over petty things. You ate what I fed you and did not turn your head to complain. You would never bite the hand that fed you. You treated Rafiki as a friend and kept him company in the field and helped to show him the way home at night. You were a strong chicken and stood up for yourself when Rafiki would try to steal your food. You were a very modest chicken and did not feel the need to stand tall in the morning and announce your presence to the world, as many roosters do. But this does not mean that you have gone unnoticed. Your name means “Angel” and so you were, on Earth. But now you have gone to Chicken Heaven, and there, a much greater Angel you will be. Goodbye Malaika. You will not be forgotten. Rafiki and I will miss you.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim -
Sorry to hear about Malaika. JT wants to know how she tasted and I am wondering if you simply buried her instead.

I'm sure she was a very good hen. Let us know when you get another one and are enjoying eggs for breakfast.
Heahter & JT

tim said...

Heather & JT,

I did not eat Malaika. I simply buried her on the parish grounds. I'm not sure I would want to eat a chicken that has an intestinal bacteria. It might make me sick. I think it might be similar to eating a chicken with bird flu or a cow with mad cow disease. No thanks!

I will let you know when I have another chicken, but it will take some time to get over the loss.

Tim C.

Raquel said...

It could be worse. My brother had a pet pig when he was in Dominican Republic for the Peace Corp. He kept his pet pig for two years and loved it very much. When his stint in the Peace Corps was over, his village threw him a going-away party, complete with a pig roast. His pig. The poor pig. He had no idea until he went to say goodbye to his pig the next day. The village enjoyed it immensely, though. You don't get fresh ham in the DR often.

JPQ said...

How you doing Tim ! Great Blog. I used to have chickens when i was a kid so i know how you feel about Malaika. They were great pets ... ate all the bugs in the garden.

Nate said...

I'm sorry to hear about Malaika. Your eulogy was actually quite beautiful though. I'm impressed. You can speak at my funeral too.

Anonymous said...

Tim,
I'm sorry to hear about your chicken...it's okay, even good farmers (remember, that's you now, a farmer) lose a chicken here and there! :-) I was reading the post before this one, with all the pictures of the kids and you telling about what you do with them. It's so awesome! I'm sure you are a blessing to so many people. Take care and God bless!
-Laura

ps...I think you should translate the little red wagon song to Swahili and teach it to small children! :-)

Anonymous said...

Tim - glad to hear you buried Malaika...afterall she was your cherished pet.
Hope you are over your loss sooner rather than later.
Keep up the wonderful blog and your wonderful work in Kenya.
Heather & JT

Malia said...

Hi Tim,

I really like your Eulogy for Malaika. I am not sure I have ever heard or read such a nice Eulogy before, even for human.
Keep up the good work you do in Kenya!