June was some chicken. She was your basic beautiful Barred Rock, clucking around the hen house, until one day, she hurt her leg.
Maddrey and Frank gathered her up, brought her inside, splinted her leg and gave her a quiet box in the house to heal. But June quickly became family instead. She was calm and affectionate and had a cheerful personality. Yes, a chicken can have a cheerful personality.
She mostly just never got her feathers ruffled about anything.
She tolerated wearing a diaper, for example. And if you have never diapered a chicken, you have missed out on a life experience...
She enjoyed selfies. Clearly, she was the more photogenic of the two of us.
After she healed, she was allowed to come and go as she pleased. In the morning, she would hop up onto the kitchen counter, lay an egg, and then go to the front door to be let outside to join the other "ordinary" hens. Probably to brag about her VIP access.
Then, winter before last, June had a mild stroke. She hobbled around, dragging one wing, so she came back inside. We had an infant crawling around and didn't want him to do what crawling infants do - grab her or squash her - so she spent the winter in the basement, next to the woodstove or hiding under the fodder system. Warm and cozy. Safe and sound. Whenever we went downstairs to fill or stoke the stove, she would make a little conversational bok-bok-bok and help check the fire. Because she was June.
And sometimes she came upstairs for a visit. Just to get some sunlight or spend a few hours on the sofa with the family.
She improved enough to go back outside when Spring finally returned. And this old girl found herself a handsome young Cock who immediately reinvigorated her spirit. She began laying again at the ripe old age of 6 1/2. She took over the entire barn for herself and her young boyfriend. It was a little "Harold and Maude" really...
June left this physical world on the day after Valentine's Day. She stayed long enough for the love, and the flowers; then she went to sleep. We will miss her.