Goodbye Robot

My brother wrote a eulogy, my sons picked flowers for her grave… and Darryn dug it.

Sadly, despite a week of antibiotics and being hand fed mashed banana, apple and porridge… Robot (the chook), didn’t make it.  I will miss her fluffy feathers, in soft greys and charcoals, bustling around the chook pen.

One of the important things, I think, about children growing up with animals is learning about life… and death through them. So we didn’t hide anything… we told the boys what had happened, they wanted to see her body and we let them choose where she should be buried. I’m not sure how much they really understood… when Josh heard she’d died over night he suggested tonight we feed her during the night to see if that will help. There was a little confused pause when we tried to explain it was too late, you don’t get a second chance with death… I later heard Josh telling Tara and Zuli (the remaining chooks) to make sure they ate all their vegetables!!! But it is amazing how much even Tomas (1) understands… he later pointed at the bowl which I had fed Robot with and said “Ro… gone… sad”… And it is.


We have a very sick chook. It’s so awful to see a beautiful, healthy bird scratching around one day and the next to see them swooning and unable to eat. Feeling helpless and desperate for our newly acquired friends I raced Robot off to the Vet. Yes, I took the chook to the vet.  I would like to justify my doing so with a number of arguments… 1. What else was I to do? Just let her die? 2. Why should only dogs and cats go to the vet?… Surely a chook is an equally valued member of the family… they certainly earn their keep (or hopefully will once they start laying!!!), 3. An excursion to a vet is a really interesting outing for two little boys, 4. Showing compassion and caring for any animal is an invaluable lesson for any child and 5. Because I wanted to know what she had and whether the other chooks… or us… where at risk (thankfully we’re find… no H5N1 here!).

So after an injection and a compassionate shrug from a vet who really held out little hope for the longeivity of our feathered friend, we went home…. to scout out burial plots.  BUT….. that was 5 days ago! Still she lives… just. I’ve been syringing antibiotics into her daily and pretty much have to hand feed her a homemade smoothie of apple sauce, banana and porridge (very popular!) every couple of hours. Unfortunately two days into her illness and need of antibiotics, we were planning a trip back to Manly to visit the old stomping ground… so, much to the bemusement of my lovely husband, the chook came to Manly with us! I’m now known affectionately (I believe) as the mad chook woman…. I just hope all this effort is worth it and poor little Robot pulls through.






Life in the country can be hazardous! At a park with the boys on their bikes and a big grey kangaroo came bounding along being chased by swooping magpies, all of a sudden it charged towards Josh who very bravely and sensibly crouched into a ball! Quite glad he had helmet on too! Kangaroo saw Josh just before impact and did impressive twist in air and changed direction. That will get the adrenaline pumping!!


It’s August and already our garden is coming alive! Magnolias, camellias, cherry blossoms and daffodils blooming in the garden! Bring on spring!!


New toothbrushes and paste for kids has arrived in the post. I LOVE these!!! The toothpaste is safe for kids to swallow – no nasties – and comes in yummy flavours. Our favourites are blueberries and blackcurrant. The brushes are so cute, a tourquoise bunny or purple hippo – but all made from corn – no horrible plastic AND it can be composted! So good for our planet too. Go Green in Style I say!


I buy online –

If you’re after an adult eco friendly brush, I use the “Environmentally Friendly Toothbrush”, which is made of bamboo (a very sustainable timber). It is a little bit funny to use for the first few weeks (just getting used to the taste of the timber)… but after that there is no difference to using a normal toothbrush… oh except that you’re being much kinder to the planet!!!


I also buy these on-line (, in bulk… and popped them under the name tags on my family’s Christmas presents last year.