"Ok, so who am I missing?" I thought. I checked everyone over and noticed Liliana was nowhere to be found.
|Liliana is the one in the middle. This is where she should have been last night.|
She is our smallest pullet and can fly really well. A couple times in the last week I had seen her outside of the run walking around. I got her to fly back inside and took a mental note to clip her wings. But I just never got around to it. She always stayed close to the run when she flew out, so I figured she would never stray.
Night was beginning to fall, but I walked around calling for her. Maybe she had gotten a little too far away from the run and was trying to make her way back but it got too dark? Of course a more likely scenario was that she was taken by a predator. I searched for feathers or any trace of her but came up with nothing.
I went inside feeling guilty and sad after calling off my search. I tried to make myself busy by preparing the pizza dough for dinner. But with each knead, all I could think of was her out in the woods by herself.
David finally made it home around 8pm after a very long day. I told him what happened and he could see that I was upset. Without hesitation he put on his heavy coat and boots, grabbed a flashlight, and headed outside to look for Liliana. This is why I love this man.
I stayed inside to finish dinner and tried to think of anything other than Liliana. After about 20 agonizing minutes later, David came back inside.
"How many chickens do we have?" he asked.
"13. Why?" I replied.
"Because there are 13 chickens in the coop."
What?! I had checked the coop and Liliana was nowhere in sight! I didn't believe him, so I grabbed my coat and headed outside with the flashlight. I eagerly ran to the coop and flung the door open. The chickens shuffled around a bit and voiced frustration at my interruption of their sleep.
I shined the light on each chicken, scanning every face, and there she was. Snuggled up next to our rooster, Cam, on the highest roost. Looking sweetly at me right in the eye, seemingly curious as to why I was bothering her so late at night.
I don't know how I missed her in my count; all I know is I'm so thankful this story has a happy ending. Early this morning as I watched the blazing sun slowly rise over the tree line, I did so with a grateful and very happy heart.
First order of business tomorrow: clipping Liliana's wings.
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