As I started up again, Shiloh was no where to be found. There is a farm on the corner with lots of free range chickens, ducks and geese. Shiloh and I have run this route for over a year now and she has never chased a bird. Until tonight. The highway traffic was busier than normal so I called her name a few times as I crossed the road. I turned my head when she finally caught up to me to see her carrying a beautiful red/orange bird in her mouth. I was MORTIFIED. The chicken was flopping and bobbing in the dogs jaw. I immediately grabbed her collar and pried the thing out of her mouth. Handfuls of feathers fell to the ground along with the stiff chicken. It's head was cocked to one side and it was as flat as a pancake.
It was just dark and I could see into all the windows in that farmers house. I just knew he had witnessed the whole ordeal. I didn't know what to do. I speed dialed Ryan and told him to come and get his murderess dog and to bring his wallet so I could pay the farmer for his loss. By this time I was consumed with grief for the poor chicken and I felt sick about telling the family about it. What was I gonna say, "My dog killed your chicken, Merry Christmas."
Ryan picked me up and we crossed the road to the farm where I got out and knocked on the door. I burst into tears explaining to the lady that my dog mauled her egg bearing chicken and I wanted to pay her for the loss. She said over and over, "It's okay, I have lots of chickens and refused any cash." At one point she hugged me, most likely because I was an emotional wreck.
As we pulled away, Ryan was telling me I should change my route. He stopped mid sentence when we got to the corner. "Is that your dead chicken?" He said. We both watched a skinny bald chicken scamper across the highway and duck down into the farmers yard. I could hardly believe it.
The chicken came back to life. And then it ran home.
Ryan said it was a Christmas miracle. I laughed. In fact I am still laughing. Good grief. Do they go into shock or something? How in the world? I had to write this one down, because I can scarcely believe it happened and I was there.