I feared this day. The day that I would say to myself, “there is nothing special to say about the chickens; why keep writing about them?” They’ve become a fixture in our backyard. They come out and scavenge the yard when I open the gate. They go back into their coop without mayhem. The dog doesn’t practice pinning them. They don’t try to escape the confines of the yard’s fence. There are no more food or water tipping over adventures. Angie doesn’t sit on the “observation stool” and watch them anymore. We can’t pick them up and cuddle them. They don’t gently peck at food in our hands – their beaks and necks are too strong.
But as we sat on the patio yesterday, fresh coffee in our Pier One mugs, Angie with her crossword puzzle, me with the rest of the paper, we got to see what still makes our chickens special.
They walk around the yard delicately. They’d be good archaeologists, because they examine everything with fresh eyes, even if they just saw a thing the previous day. They climb on the limbs from the Lacebark Elm (the ones I had to cut so the Dish could still get the download from Satellite 129 – the high def one) as if they are newly placed there and could have loads of bugs or caterpillars on them. They traverse the wood pile like Everest Sherpas threading their way through the Kumbu Icefall (which is, historically, way more deadly to Everest climbers than the actual summit attempts are). I know there are some old fence boards with nails on the wood pile, but the chickens don’t act AFRAID of the wood, they act FASCINATED by it. I am so guilty of glossing over the things of my life; once I’ve labeled a thing, that is what it is, and I no longer need to study it.
We watched our chickens go into Kenzie’s pen and do the ‘double scratch and hop back’ maneuver to see what they’ve uncovered. Yes, it’s the same dog pen they’ve been in every time they are let loose. Doesn’t matter; today could be the day they make a life-changing discovery. Remember Kurt Russell, in the movie “Miracle”, yelling “Fresh Legs, fresh Legs!” at the end of the match against the russians? I hear that voice when I study the chickens, except it is saying “fresh eyes! fresh eyes!”.
Man, I wish I could remember to do that.