Before this gets too morbid let me explain that Stevie was one of our chickens. When we had first released her from the box into our garden, before her wings were clipped, she had made a stunning bid for freedom. She ran like a headless ... well you get the message, she ran recklessly and then launched into the air and almost cleared the border to freedom but crashed spectacularly into a thorn bush and lay there bleeding, wounded and helpless. It reminded me of that immortal scene from The Great Escape with Steve MacQueen's attempt to jump the barbed wire. Hence Stevie was named. She took time to find her place in the pecking order but eventually it was just her and Goldie left as our pets.
This week, in front of the office window in our garden, Anne saw a dog savagely attack and kill Stevie. This was desperately sad as she had just established herself as a great little layer, the chicken I mean, and was a much loved part of the family, as with most pets.
The neighbours were mortified when they realised it was their little beast but the damage had been done. Yesterday I fetched 2 pals for Goldie and they are settling in to their new home. No names yet, although the Sussex Star - a White one with black extremities - immediately tried to establish herself at the top of the pecking order by launching into a spectacular hen-fight with Goldie. I'm thinking, Tyson!