Flash fiction: Nymph

A fox killed the chicken yesterday. Probably for brunch.

When I finally had a moment alone in the shower, after a harrowing morning of work emails, school lunches, negotiating a truce in the war between our dogs, and hanging washing out before the onset of rain, nature’s furry assassin crept into our garden.

It tore the bottom railing off the fence, dug under the coop and executed the old bird without a sound. Only a scattering of red feathers remained as evidence, stuck to her water bowl.

Don’t tell my wife but I am not entirely unhappy she’s gone.

Nymph was my mother in law’s chicken that we inherited when she passed on. I’m not much of a bird person and, like the mother in law, Nymph and I didn’t always see eye to eye, but we took her in out of respect anyway.

Pity she never respected my pedicures. She had a thing for examining my toes, the chicken that is not the mother in law – let’s be clear there was nothing kinky going on.

When I called my wife with the sad news, she whizzed home from work. After thirty minutes of forensic examination of the yard, the fence, and the neighbours CCTV footage the verdict was in. Definitely fox.

She asked for a drink to steady her nerves. Another touch point with her mum ripped away. It wouldn’t be the same without Nymph, she lamented.

And then it rained.

Never really liked the old bird, strange that Nymph seemed to like me. I was the only one she clucked at. She would follow me around the yard incessantly chattering. Was she nagging me to water her favourite tasty flowers or discussing unfinished business? I’ll never know.

I got a little teary this morning about the time I would normally feed Nymph. Must have had something in my eye.


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