Tragedy struck the Zbylot household yesterday around 4:00 p.m. I was preparing for my lesson for the next day at my computer when I looked up at the window and was greeted by Nathan holding a chick upside down by the legs. I initially thought that he was mistreating the bird, but quickly saw that the bird was dead. I jumped up and went outside to find Hannah running through the back yard with tears in her eyes, Dawson with a concerned and determined look on his face, and Nathan giving me the low down.
Evidently, Dawson went out to check on the chicks and instead of seeing their cute little bodies scratching around, saw a big hawk "ripping" (his words) off the face of his bird. He quickly threw a stick and scared the hawk off. This led to a mass search for the other chicks. As I arrived on the scene the search was in high gear and I could hear nothing but extreme squawking from the nearby neighbors yard. None of the chicks could be found. I walked with the kids down the street and all we could hear was that loud piercing sound of birds when they have found their feast. I was thinking to myself that there was no telling how many of our chicks they were up there eating, but I didn't say anything to the kids. I quickly said a prayer and as we walked back through the gate I glanced to my left and saw the remaining six chicks all huddle up in the corner under some leaves. With great relief the kids quickly picked them up and carried them to the coop.
Hannah was in tears. Holding her I told her that the hawks have to eat too. She said that she hated the hawks. I told her that hawks can't just live off of bugs and asked her if she could live off of bugs. She said no, but that she could live off of cereal. We had to laugh because it is probably true!! After some more tears and hugs by Hannah and listening to more of how it all happened, things began to calm down a little. However, later in the evening when dad came home, the story was relived again and a burial was performed. Now this wasn't our first burial. We did have one chick pass on at the ripe age of less than one week of being with us do to an unfortunate accident underneath someone's foot. Little Peep had already been buried and now it was Dawson's chick, Rocky's, turn. (Luckily for us the hawk did not carry Rocky off when Dawson threw the stick at him.) Hannah and Dawson worked diligently to not only bury the chick, but also give them a proper tombstone and decorations.
The inscriptions read:
After baths, I joined the kids on the back porch while they ate their snacks. I asked them what they were talking about and they said they were discussing what they have learned about chickens. Here is their list:
1) Don't leave the chicken feed close to the fence (it got rained on the other day)
2) Don't just leave the chicks out without watching them
3) Don't let the chicks get under your foot
4) Don't lock the chickens out of the coop or pen without leaving water and food for them
We face a new day today. I am sure that the kids will be on high alert as we listen and look for hawks. A covered chicken run is now being discussed for added protection for the chicks. It is just another reminder that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) The hawks had been circling our house for about a month now. We have been surprised that they hadn't struck sooner. However, they are just like Satan. Satan circles around us until just the right time and strikes us when we least expect it. Who would have thought that the hawk would have gotten our chicken while we were here at the house. Surely it would have happened while we were gone!! No, Satan is sneaky and will wait patiently for the prime opportunity. May we be on guard both day and night through the meditation of the word and continual prayers of thanksgiving and praise as we seek God's protection from our enemy as well as protection for our families and friends.
"My goal is to know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, assuming that I will somehow reach the resurrection from among the dead. Not that I have already reached the goal or am already fully mature, but I make ever effort to take hold of it because I also have been taken hold of by Christ Jesus." Philippians 3: 10-12