The other day I went to have some “centering” time with my chickens. When my world seems to be spinning out of control, my hens’ lives just seem to make so much sense. The sleep when it’s dark and wake when it’s light. If they get tired during the day, they rest. They move around scratching among the leaves in search of tasty snacks and eat only until they are full. They don’t get fat. They hang out with each other with a clear leader who is the leader because she’s good at it. It’s no popularity contest. They follow me around and I pretend that they like me. I know that it’s because I feed them, but I’m okay with the illusion that they care. They aren’t particularly smart, but they are really good at being chickens and they are content with what they are. We don’t have all that much in common, but I do try to learn from them. I may be smarter, but I’m not very good at achieving the level of peace and contentment that they live with.
Anyway, back to the point of this story. I went out to the chicken yard and popped open the plastic bin that I store the chicken food in. I wasn’t paying much attention and failed to notice that there was a hole chewed in the lid of the bin. I’d been away for the weekend and it must have happened then. I popped open the lid and reached in to unroll the bag of scratch grain when…
…out popped the chicken yard squirrel (his name is Chicken, but that’s a whole ‘nother story)… He flew straight into my chest and then sprung up into a tree. Those little furry mammals are fast! I don’t think that I have ever screamed so loudly in my life. The family came running to the window that overlooks the chicken yard to see what had happened. The automatic assumption was that I had seen a snake. It is turning into springtime around here after all.
Can you believe that I received no sympathy whatsoever for this traumatic attack. They were all too busy laughing until they were out of breath.
Afterwards the damn squirrel named Chicken had the nerve to perch on a limb above me and chatter angrily because I had disturbed his meal. Just wait until he sees the metal trash can that I’m buying to replace the plastic tote. Chew through that you little varmit!