I don’t think she’s gonna make it.
My name is Beryl. I am a lady chicken.
And today is the worst day of my life.
Yesterday I lived in the yard with Wanda, Missus Jenkins, and my twin sister Babs.
Today I woke up in a bathtub, and I am hurt. Very hurt.
My toe is missing.
I can’t lift my wing.
My eye’s crusted shut.
I don’t want to talk about it.
the night before
I’m ready to talk about it.
Yesterday I was confused and my head hurt.
But now I remember.
A raccoon tried to kill me. That’s what.
And if you scare easily I suggest you stop reading.
Because in the middle of the night — while we were sleeping — a big raccoon— big as a dog—crept in our coop with zero regard for life.
Not mine, anyway.
I was fast asleep when he yanked me from the roost.
My head slammed to the ground and I felt something tear.
I understand having a tooth pulled may feel similar —that horrid crunch you feel— but this probably was worse.
I tried screaming, but he dragged me across the yard by my throat.
Have you ever seen a raccoon’s teeth?
They’re razor pointy. Like sharpened little ice picks.
And they sank into me like a hot knife through butter.
They say you don’t feel pain with adrenaline. When you’re in shock.
Maybe that’s a human luxury.
Because I felt everything.
I heard the other girls make scared noises from the roost.
He hissed bad words at them then bit my neck, exposing raw meat.
Was he seriously gonna try to eat me in front of my family?
I flapped my wings so hard it sounded like TEN birds flying.
No! No! NO! I wasn’t ready to die!
I escaped for two seconds but he caught my foot, ripping off my toe.
My sister screamed my name.
I pecked his face.
My comb got stuck in his teeth so he ripped that off, too.
Blood streaked my feathers and beak, making me gurgle.
But I never stopped screaming.
I screamed so loud it woke the neighbor lady.
Her porch light flipped on and my attacker froze, his eyes like shiny black marbles.
Then I don’t know why.
But he ran.
I lay there stunned. Bloody, trembling, and struggling to breathe.
The other girls watched me, concerned and confused.
I was the strong one.
The brave one.
Now I’m ugly, injured, and weak.
Maybe I should’ve let him—
I don’t want to talk about this anymore.
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- Read this to your kids.
- Your partner-in-crime.
- That grumpy lady in the cubicle near yours.
- Or anyone requiring distraction.
Maybe they care what happens to me.