two chicks

I was seven. I might have been eight. But it does not matter. I was anyway a kid and had a handful of chicks. I had probably bought them at an open market adjacent to a local festival or something. It was rare for our family to keep animals in our home because my mother did not like to feed them. I do not know why she allowed me to buy them. She might have been intoxicated by the festive mood. She might have intended to eat them in the end. I do not know. I cannot ask her either because she passed away several years ago.

I loved those chicks. They were so cute. I cannot remember how it happened, but to my horror three of them had already been taken. They have just disappeared, while I let them out to our garden. My mother suggested that they had been eaten by a cat, but I could not believe her because they had been protected by an iron cage. A blush of feathers left coiled to the cage only hinted that a chick was grabbed through there. I was alerted to the threat.

It was sunny and beautiful morning. It was so warm that I let chicks, now only two left, out to the garden, free of cage. For half an hour, I was happily seeing these chicks walk on the ground and peck at the weeds. It was so peaceful. I paid of course enough attention around us not to miss a suspicious animal approaching. No indication. I concluded that such a small creature never approaches to the chicks if a person is present. The cat must be afraid of me. It was my theory. My chicks are safe as long as I am with them.

The peace was suddenly ended when I saw a shadow running away after a dim noise. It was so quick that I could not even see the cat clearly. I tried to follow it to recover my chick, but soon realized I had no way to catch it. The left one was trembling and could not move. I softly wrapped him with my hands and apologized for my idiocy. I put him back to a small cage to bring it back home.

I must have reported the incident to my mother, but cannot remember how I did it. I was so shocked by the attack. There was nothing I could do to prevent the cat from taking my chick away. All I could do was to watch it running away like thunder. She must have already eaten it. I was disappointed by my own stupidity. It happened in a blink. The loss will never be recovered. The change is irreversible.

Next morning saw another unfortunate loss. The left one was cold in the cage. It was probably too cold for the chick to spend a night alone. The pair must have been able to survive nights by warming up with each other. The left one cannot warm him up when his partner has gone. I stared his closed eyes for a while and took him to the garden to bury him.

The two chicks taught me two important things of death. First, your loved one can be lost abruptly. Second, the loss can destroy everyone who has been dependent on him or her, too.

That is all. I had been in bed due to fever for a couple of days last week and I felt I found my source of anxiety when I remembered the episode above, in bed, of course.

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