One morning, our observant daughter noticed a hawk flying back and forth in the sky above our property.  In the afternoon, she spotted it again.  This time, it was circling high in the sky above our chicken coop.  It seemed to be eyeing our several free-range chickens which were happily pecking around the pasture totally oblivious of the danger we knew was above.  The chickens, raised by our children since they were one day old, were not yet full-grown.  To our children, the chickens were dear friends, but, to the hawk, they were a tasty lunch.  Since we hadn’t lost any of our free-range chickens to hawks in broad daylight, we went about our day.  As the time for evening chores approached, it grew very windy and chilly.  Our children decided to do chores a bit early as the clouds were growing darker.   A heavy rainstorm was in the forecast for early evening.  Moments later, I looked out our kitchen window to see my older daughter running toward the house.  Our daughter had counted and recounted the chickens resting on their perches inside the coop.  She kept coming up two short.  Usually, as dusk approaches, chickens will return from the pastures on their own to the safety of their coop for the night.  So, where were those other two?  As I pulled on my barn boots to help in a search, my teary-eyed daughter guessed the likely reason for our missing chickens.  “The hawk,” she remembered.  We eventually called off the search as the rain started to come down hard, soaking us.  My daughter was quiet in deep thought the rest of the night.  Surprisingly, there were no dramatic outbursts over the lost chickens that evening.  As I tucked her in bed, her spirit seemed even a little cheerful, “Mom, I’m pretty sure that hawk got my chickens.  I’m very sad for them, but I can be glad that the hawk is now happy with a full tummy.”  Wow.  That’s a very “the glass is half-full” thing to say.  And I guess she was paying attention to Mufasa’s circle of life lecture to Simba in The Lion King.  Early the next morning, the chickens were found hunkered down in a corner of the pasture.  The poor things had probably just been disoriented by the sudden change in weather.  My daughter was very happy to locate her lost chickens, but her smile wasn’t as big as I expected.  She expressed her mixed emotions, “I’m so happy our chickens are okay, but now I’m a bit sad the hawk is out there still hungry.”  We both looked up at the clear blue sky but the hungry hawk was nowhere to be seen.

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