Portrait Gallery 21

 

Text by Pam Ahern, Director of Edgar’s Mission

Grandpa Chook

One of the saddest things in life is that we never know when it’s the last time.  Perhaps if we did we would be able to cherish that moment just that little bit longer, love that little bit harder and linger just that little bit longer.  Last night I kissed Grandpa Chook on the head, told him I loved him and gently placed him beside his lady, Teresa Chook in the bed they shared next to my desk.  But I didn't know it would be the last time. 

This morning I awoke to a somewhat off colour Grandpa Chook.  The plucky little guy I had saved from a school yard animal farm just wasn't himself.  I picked him up, cradling him in my arms and asked, "What's up Grandpa?"  He cooed a response as he always did, but something wasn't quite right.  You know that feeling you get when someone you know and love isn't 100%, something that wouldn't be discernable to a stranger. I offered him some grains from my hand which he unenthusiastically pecked at, preferring to snuggle in for a cuddle while I then tapped away at the computer.

Morning chores beckoned and so I placed Grandpa Chook on the top of my chair as I always when leaving him in charge, covering the keyboard least we have another episode of the clever Grandpa Chook disconnecting the mouse yet again.  But the little fella gently closed his eyes and slept.  Returning a short time later my heart sank, it was as if the little guy had been waiting for me to return to say just one last time "I love you Grandpa Chook" to which I selfishly added "…please don't leave me."  But selfish I cannot be and so I add, "Please go if you need, your work is done."

While Grandpa Chook was a tiny bantam rooster his personality was anything but.  Plucky, friendly, loyal and smart are just a few of the qualities that made him my buddy.  I remember when his friend, Teresa was introduced to him in the yard they would share behind my office.  They would spend many hours exploring the earthly treats on offer.  One afternoon I brought Grandpa Chook in to assist with the office duties leaving Teresa on her own. Not long after this Grandpa Chook hopped off my lap and went to the glass door and began tapping.  This caught my attention and so I turned to see Teresa standing outside the door with Grandpa madly tapping away from this side.  Doing as instructed I slid the door open and Teresa came inside under the guidance of Grandpa Chook and his flamboyant matador dance.

I trust by now heaven has heard the tapping and a beautiful and proud little rooster has been ushered in.

 

Caregiver: 

Kyle Behrend

Chicken: 

Grandpa Chook
Kyle Behrend