RIP Mary, our Skittish New Hampshire Red
Abigail Black/Mindwatering 09/10/2020
There was a little chick at the bottom of the display bin, with another playing on its back. I instructed the employee to rescue the little one. She was Mary.

Mary was never, ever large. She was perhaps the size of a Frizzle, definitely runtish for a New Hampshire Red. But she certainly didn't act like it. She liked climbing to the highest reaches in the coop and run and human bodies. She liked perching on my mother's shoulder and pooping on her chest. Never failed. Climb. Survey the world. Splat. (She's still my mom's favorite.) She loved grubs and fruit and scratching the day away. She hated being handled and sprinted like the Roadrunner. We'd have to corner her to catch her.

One day, she started going downhill. Maybe she ate something, maybe it was genetic. But she started losing weight, quickly becoming very emancipated. She still tried to do the things she used to do, but she was too weak. She could barely lift her feet to walk, much less ascend a stair or run. If she tried, she falls flat on her face and stays on the ground like "What happened?"

After a while, it was too hard for her to stay outside with the others. We'd had had her in the house for a few weeks, in a resort made of boxes taped together. She practically had the entire floor of the den. We tried everything to get her to eat, including resorting to syringes.

My mom was holding her when she died. It was very painful to watch, her eyes shooting open and her neck writhing before she finally went. We looked it up later and we think she passed of Merek's. We buried her in the backyard with the other beloveds.

RIP Mary. You were precocious to the end.