Yesterday I strolled into the run, feeling extraordinarily sullen about the recent rooster events. I wanted to hug a chicken. After I got my chicken therapy, I noticed that I had dropped my hair tie on the ground. I went to pick it up, but Edith got there first and began sprinting around with it, the other two in hot pursuit. Then Sybil grabbed it, tug of war ensued, and then Sybil ran away with it. Then it went to Mary. They weaved around the coop, running up the ramps, dodging my legs until I finally grabbed it. Then they congregated around my legs, clucking, begging for it to be returned. Maybe it was their cute little chicken clucks, maybe it was my need to be happy, or maybe it was simple, sheer stupidity. I gave it back to them. After all, how could they swallow a hair tie?!
My laughter was immediately stopped when I saw Mary with it in the corner. The other two were watching. I saw her tip her head up. I shouted “NO!!” and lunged for her, reaching her just as it slipped down her throat. I snatch her beak, prying it open, and peering inside. She starts squawking in alarm, and Edith flies at my face, protecting his hen.
And now I wait. I wait to see if I just killed my favorite chicken. Its been 24 hours, and she’s been acting fine. My fingers are crossed.