My Love For You Is Greater Than My Happiness

Posted By on November 1, 2012

Here were the facts:

  • We had 10 hens.
  • Half were laying and half were retired (or should be).
  • We agreed 4 needed to leave us this Fall.
  • I had a friend who was looking for a companion for her lonely bantam who was orphaned by a predator. She could care less about the eggs. She wanted a pet hen.

That faithful morning I went into the coop with the kids.

“Which one shall we bring?” I asked as I stepped into the chicken area.

“One of the bare-necks.” They said almost in unison. They were the chickens without names. We ran around trying to catch one of the three but they were fast and wild.

Then I came to Silver Mist. She was the sweetest, friendliest and most docile hen we’ve ever had. Whenever I went into the chicken yard to feed them, Silver Mist was the first one there to greet me. She was also one of the few laying hens.

I looked at her. Two red and raw callused spots on the top of her wings caught my eyes. She was also the most pecked in the coop. Then a lump swelled in my throat so I could barely speak. My heart ached even as the words were coming out.

“There is Silver Mist.” I said gesturing to her.

“No!” They chorused. “Silver Mist is our favorite. Not her.”

“Just look at her.” I said quietly. We all knew about the pecking and the spots were hard to miss. No one said anything for a while.

“Alright.” My eldest said solemnly and with determination. It was said with such clarity, the other boys did not protest.

We placed her into a large paper bag we bought our bulk rice in and set her on Jing’s lap. She settled in. The boys coddled her and said softly, “Good bye Silver Mist, we’ll miss you.”

As I drove, I looked over at my son and saw his mouth quivering. “She would make a good pet hen.” He said tenderly after a while. “The other ones were too wild to make good pets.”

“She will be well cared for.” I assured them.

As a mom, it’s challenging to identify just when exactly does a boy grow to be a man. This moment would be one I will remember.

And my journey in all of this?

It’s learning to let go. If my eleven year old could, I could too.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.


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