Slim and Franke

Slim and Franke

Friday, December 16, 2005

BACK TO CHICKENS

You can commercially raise chickens, gather eggs, wring the chickens necks and put them on a freezer tray in the store. OR, you can nurture chickens, thank them when you gather their eggs, study the chickens, listen to the chickens, talk to the chickens and learn from them.

You know they are more than nourishment when you name each chicken according to appearance and personality.

You can learn about men when you observe roosters. You can learn about women when you study the hens. Chickens can teach you a lot about sibling rivalry.

It does not take a village to raise chickens. It takes a watchful rooster and an intent mother hen who will risk her life for the eggs first then the chicks as long as they are young enough to need her. Then, when they are old enough, she boots them out, into the flock and will even appear to forget they are her children. (We know she doesn't really forget them, she's just letting go and letting God.)

I guess credit must be given to the willing humans who will carry food and water for the chickens and open and close their house morning and night in all kinds of weather and literally reach inside the mouth of a black snake to retrieve an egg. Humans keep the pen and house in good repair and tenderly dispose of the fragile fowl who sometime succumb to a predator.

I truly enjoy the chickens, in case you could not tell. You should see the three baby chicks now. They are trying to roost at night but still end up seeking warmth under their mother. They sit a minute on the roost and dance around as if to say, "Look at us. Look at us." Then they run to the safety of their mother. Pretty soon she will be encouraging them to roost along side the rest.

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