Posted 05-23-2004 at 07:43:15
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This is a story about five little chickens and their owner, a nice woman, that thought she had a gift for communicating with animals. Little did she know, these particular chickens she had purchased from a simple Mom and Pop feed store would turn out to be much more than plain old chickens.
After she bought them, she snuggled them in a homemade brooder, and spent many days in her cozy rocking chair, cuddling and cooing, talking away to them, every one precious to her. One in particular seemed to have some trouble, Misty the woman called her. She couldn't seem to stay on her feet, so the woman was very attentive to this one. She made sure she had the water and food and love she needed.
Time went by, and the chicks grew and grew. As they got older they seemed to have an intelligence about them. The woman dismissed this, thinking she was just imagining things. After all, she had grown quite fond of them all, each and every one was special in her own way.
As spring came, and warm weather with it, the woman decided it was time for the chicks to venture out into the green grasses and spend the sunny days wandering the yard, doing the things that chickens do. She kept the brooder on the green picnic table by the back door so she could round them up at night and put them to bed in there, because they were still much too young to go into the chicken house with the other chickens.
Days went by, sometimes the woman would go out into the yard and sit and watch them, bring them little treats of cracked corn and sunflower seeds, and things of that nature. In the evening, the woman would call out her border collie, a humble and faithful companion, to put the older chickens in the chicken house, and then to push the younger ones up the back steps, and under the carport, where the woman waited for them to pluck them up and put them in the brooder for the night. Nothing particularly strange about these events of the day.
One evening, she was running behind on her chores for the day, and was late getting out to the gate to get them all in their respected places for the night. As she opened the screen door, she heard a peeping. Looking around to the gate, there she saw those five little chickens at the top of the stairs. So, she opened the gate, and one by one here they came walking into the carport. The woman thought, well, this is very convenient, and took advantage of this, putting them in the brooder and settling them in for the night with their fresh water and food, and nice clean pine shavings.
The next day, same as every day, she went out in the morning, opened the brooder, set the chickens at the top of the stairs and scooted them on their way, always being mindful to remember to shut the gate behind her. Didn't want to run the risk of a stray dog wandering into the yard and doing harm to them, that wouldn't do.
The day grew late, and the woman headed for the door right after supper to get the chickens in. She opened the door, pushed open the screen door to step outside, and in walks a chicken! Then another hops up into the house. They are peeping and looking around as if they belong there. Now the woman is clearly baffled by this, knowing she shut the gate, and grinning softly she says, "Well, come on in ladies!" The border collie didn't think much of chickens in the house, and came a running. The border collie immediately began her steely stare that these dogs are so famous for, letting these girls know they needed to get on out. With a little nudging, they were back out the door, and the woman picked them all up and put them to bed as usual.
One evening, the woman and her family had decided to go and visit her parents, and got back after dark. She was a little concerned on the way home that her chickens may have jumped the gate and ran away, growing ever impatient to be put to bed.
As they crested the hill and began driving down to the house, she fully expected to find her chickens in the middle of the road, but the headlights shown on the pavement, and there was nothing there. As she pulled up the driveway, she saw her husband had left the carport light on, and was glad of that. She got out, scanning the front yard, no chickens. Walking under the carport, she was simply baffled and delighted to see all five chickens. Not only had they jumped the gate, but they had gotten into the brooder and put themselves to bed! What a wonderful bunch of girls! So the woman put the top on the brooder and told them good night.
From that day forward, she never had to get the border collie to round those particular chickens up. They seemed smart enough to do for themselves.
Every morning when the woman goes out to greet her chickens, as she opens the brooder top and they fly up and perch on the sides of the brooder, each waiting their turn to be picked up and put on the back steps...she ponders...nad wonders...how we ever came to eat such a beautiful, sweet natured animal. One that comes when called, and is happy just to be sitting next to you on the grass, as you read a good book, or sip a nice cool glass of lemonade.
Its the little things in life that make everything worth while. Everybody notice the little things in life today, and enjoy them. The smell of fresh cut grass, the startling white clouds in the blue blue sky. The busy honeybees on the clover. The warm sunshine on your face, the gentle breeze that tickles your skin. These are joys that money can't buy, and I am thankful of that fact.
(Just so y'all know, I won't ever eat MY chickens, but I do love to eat chicken, I may be a sentimental sap, but I'm not crazy, meat is good. :) )