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Last night, a coyote smashed its way through the wooden wall of the hen house and ate the Disgruntled Viking Chicken. We’ll miss her.

We never intended to end up with a Disgruntled Viking Chicken. We’d gone to the feed store to buy Rhode Island Red chicks, but there was also one little ball of yellow fluff who’d gotten her head stuck in the food dish, peeping angrily. I thought that was cute, and so we ended up with one yellow Buff Orpington along with our flock of sleek red-orange rhodies. The rhodies would sit on the Blue Haired Girlfriend’s lap, watching TV and being petted, while the Disgruntled Viking Hen investigated the edibility of such culinary delights as “electrical cords” and “socks.”

We probably shouldn’t have been surprised when head-stuck-in-food-dish chick grew into a hungry yellow fluffsphere with feet. She stalked frogs in the duckpond, dismembered them with disturbing zeal, and ate them messily. She had an uncanny ability to locate styrofoam, aluminum foil, and plastic buried in the mud, which she would then attempt to eat and angrily peck any humans who took them away. She once leaped up and pecked Soup-Nose the goat right in the udder when she felt that Soup-Nose was getting too close to her barley.

She gave no fucks about flock politics, unless someone was taking her food, in which case I hope The Powers That Be had mercy on them, cause she sure wouldn’t. But whenever we got new birds, they always ended up sleeping cuddled up to the Disgruntled Viking Hen, who just didn’t care if they were strangers or scared or lost or at the bottom of the pecking order. The peacocks slept one on each side of her, leaning on her, for months after we got them. If she realized they were not actually chickens, she did not care.

I hope Chicken Afterlife is full of wonderful things to eat, like styrofoam and uranium and nebulas and square roots and entropy and fulgarites, and nobody to take them away from her. And I’m glad all the new arrivals to Chicken Afterlife – scared and lost – will find a warm soft grouchy yellow fluffsphere who gives no fucks to sleep next to.