I do so love the Victorian stories for children…so heartwarming and always with a happy ending!!!
Taken from Little Folks a Magazine for the Young; 1890
‘A young Frenchman once made a pet of a Houdan chicken. By throwing it some grain or bread crumbs every morning the chicken at last got into the way of following him about the house. The lad used to go to a seat in the garden and the fowl would jump up beside him, pick food from his hand, and allow its head and back to be stroked. But the boy’s holiday came to an end and he went back to school. At first the chicken did not seem to miss him, and took its food with the other fowls. When, however, after a few days had passed, the chicken began to realise that its young master was gone for good, it became sad and cast down. Morning after morning it hung about the house, as if waiting for its friend. at length it went to the bench in the summer-house and stopped there day and night with its head beneath its wings, refusing all even the most tempting kinds of food. Its intention to starve itself to death soon grew so clear that it was thought most merciful to kill it and put it out of its agony.’