Chicken's of the Sea

It was a Sunday in early summer, 1967 when my father left this earth. I passed by him on my way to church while he tended his vegetable garden. I said good bye not knowing it would mean forever. My mother and two  brothers, Bob and Joe stayed at home as they had already gone to the 7 am mass. My brother Bob was the youngest. He would turn six four days later, on the day we buried my dad. He and my brother Joe were with my dad in the yard that morning. My father was only 43. Our family doctor, John O'Brien suggested she put somthing in the area to detract from this sad memory. She installed a small swimming pool, it helped .
 Now Bob loved animals, or as he called them"aminals". When he would attend summer art classes he would sculpt dogs, horses and evan buffalo.  Dr. O'Brien told my mother try to let him have animals to raise and take care of so he understands the life cycle. So his first choice was chickens. Then came the ducks, rabbits and fish. Mom stopped him when he asked for a goat! There were always chickens roaming our property.Two Lake Horns, a Rhode Island Red named Alice who took a baby duck under her wing. We had a black bantam named appropriately 'the Hawk'. We had a rooster who woke us every morning. The whole neighborhood as well.  Alice raised her own chicks. The hawk was our best layer. We always had fresh eggs. My Uncle Frank helped him build the coop. I have  fond memorys of trips to Agway to purchase "chicken mash" in large bags along with hay for the rabbits.
 Bob learned about the life cycle indeed! One night we had masked intruders in the coop !! We all awoke to a frenzy of clucking and squaking & feathers flying.. Racoons! Bob like the little man he had become ran out with the rest of us. They all were okay, but the Hawk was injured. Her comb was torn. We thought she wouldn't make it. Our mom was the queen of solutions. She cleaned the wound and wrapped gauze around its head . Well the hawk looked... very un hawkish. More like a picture out of a Beatrix Potter book. The Hawk had a bonnet!
 So his animals came and went. Bob learned about the "life cycle". He grew up went to art school in Manhattan had a cat named Putty in his apartment. Putty lived to be 17. He is an Art Director now. He and his wife Jeanne live on the beach. They have two cats, two dogs and there newest addition... four chickens. Silver Laced Wyandotte's. They are known for being docile, good egg producers and cold hearty. There names ..Fee , Fi, Fo & Fum. They roam his beach front property, while swans, geese, ducks and egrets float just feet away from them. I often think how much Bob is like my dad. Dad would have loved this. He probably would have named them Fee, Fi, Fo & Fum too!