Sometimes there are moments when you realize that only something very out of the ordinary will do to comfort and console a very sad little boy. Moments like when your dog greets him at the front door with the remains of his favorite chick hanging limply from its mouth. Those moments.
After you quickly remove the remains (and thoroughly scrub your hands), you will gather your tear-stained children onto your couch, give them all their special blankets, and then make them peppermint hot cocoa, despite the fact that it's mid-summer and hot. You will read the story, "Thunder Cake" to them by candlelight, as a real thunderstorm booms outside, and you will hope that having hot cocoa in July will be special and out-of-the-ordinary enough to remove the grisly scene from their little hearts.
Then you will pray for dead chickens, talk about why labs chase birds, and remind them that God does, indeed, see every sparrow--and chicken--that falls. You will tuck them in and once again remind yourself that loving free-range chickens is, indeed, a difficult thing.
In case you are in need of some Consoling Cocoa, here's our recipe:
1 package hot chocolate mix (Feel free to make your own, real deal instead)
6 oz. hot water
a couple tablespoons heavy whipping cream
Torani peppermint syrup
Make the hot chocolate as directed, then splash in some whipping cream and peppermint syrup. Best served to tearful children in need of cheering up on a hot summer's night. Or, of course, in mid-winter by a roaring fire, although that's not nearly as unexpected. Either way, it's always good.