The Mast-Head: Season in the Snow

   Saturday’s snowfall was a pleasant surprise down on Cranberry Hole Road. After an extended dig through the basement, I found suitable snowsuits for Evvy and Ellis, and we went out. My wife and elder daughter preferred to stay inside.
    The younger kids and I first took turns sledding down the minor rise that passes for a hill on our property. That broke down to a snowball fight in short order.
    Ellis, who will be 2 next week, piled into the battery-operated plastic Jeep and got stuck in a snowdrift, shades of what was probably going on up on the highway about then. Then it was time to make a snowman.
    We went inside, however, without giving the 5-foot-high fellow a face, scarf, or hat, because Ellis was beginning to get cold. When I went out later that day to see how it was faring, I was surprised to see he had fallen over, the victim it appeared of a close pass by a Highway Department snowplow. A shower of gravel and dirt from where the blade scraped up the roadside lay atop the snow. 
    In other seasonal news from Amagansett, I found my favorite hen dead in one of the laying boxes in the coop the other day. We called her Cupcake, one of only a few in the flock that the kids bothered to name.
    She was a mostly white mixed breed of some sort. She laid brown eggs, not too large, not too small. She was popular with the roosters, broody, and had hatched one or two clutches of eggs in her time. Brave in just knowing where the feed came from, she would come to the door of the pen to greet me in the morning.
    The day before she died, I had noticed her sitting in a box she normally did not use. Thinking little of it, I did not bother to check on her, the following morning, her head was drooped in an odd way, and I knew she was gone.
    There were weasel tracks in the snow the past couple of days around the coop, but I didn’t see any evidence that they were responsible for killing her. More likely, her time had just run out. I’ll miss her though. She was a good chicken.