Butterscotch never held it against me, though. She never once pecked at me. She'd just shake her head and flap her wings a little, like a person stretching after a deep sleep. Then she'd run over to the feeder and nibble a few food pellets.
If I can model my life after anyone in the coming New Year, I want to be like Butterscotch.
You'll notice I write about her in the past tense. She died the night before Thanksgiving.
I worked late that day and didn't have a chance to collect the eggs until after church, around 10 that night. I started toward the coop and heard a lot of flapping and clucking. Those are not normal sounds that late at night. I went back in the house and got my pistol.
One of our red hens met me at the coop door. She was freaked out. I noticed the rest of the chickens on the roost, huddled together and clucking. They were scared of something.
I looked in the corner and saw a possum with a bloodied Butterscotch in its mouth. I took a step forward. It dropped her and hissed at me.
I aimed. Two shots, and the possum was no more. I gave it two more for spite.
I then turned my attentions to Butterscotch. I scooped her up, carried her outside and lay her on the ground. She was grievously injured. The possum did a number on her, making big gashes on her belly. She was still alive but barely breathing.
I ran to the house to get my wife, Whitney. By the time I returned, Butterscotch was dead.
We still have a half-dozen of her eggs in our fridge. We never gave them to anybody, as they were much smaller than our other chickens' eggs. They tasted just fine, though, and were perfect for fried egg sandwiches.
But that last half-dozen will probably remain untouched. I don't think I'll ever be able to eat them.
I realize we'll have to throw them out someday. Right now, it just makes me too sad. Because once those eggs are gone, so will be the only kind, happy-go-lucky chicken I ever met.
Contact writer Zack Harold at zack.har...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7939.