I’ve been obsessing over this chicken.
Three evenings in a row this chicken made herself at home on this brick ledge near out front door. Why?
Well, she has to be somewhere, right? Who knows what goes on the mind of a chicken looking for shelter. The spot she chose seemed fairly good. Not on the ground, not under branches, a view of anything coming. If I had to worry about being prey, I’d want such a perch. It doesn’t strike me as especially warm, but it must not have been too bad, and it isn’t that cold around here yet.
I tried to find her owners, but I didn’t have any luck. I worried that waiting any longer for owners to turn up would just extend the amount of time the chicken was vulnerable to predators and accidents.
The first time I spotted her in the yard was Halloween–our first trick-or-treater of the night!
Then she slipped my mind until she showed up Saturday and decided to stay the night. And the next night. She was all settled in for tonight as well, but thanks to my neighbor, I’d found a new home for her. Tricksy (as I named her thanks to her Halloween appearance) was scooped up into the arms of a lady who loves chickens. She showed me a portrait she’d had painted of two of her favorite pet chickens. And she showed me pictures of her chickens on her phone. She talked like someone who knew a lot about chickens. I love people when they’re passionate about something and you see them light up talking about it. Chickens! That lady made me care about this chicken even more.
The whole incident has made me happy.
I mean, I get that it’s weird to care about a random chicken that decided to sit on a ledge that happened to be part of my house. I eat chicken for dinner often. I do not, as a rule, find chickens pretty or compelling.
It’s hard when you live a modern, seemingly divorced from nature life, not to feel it’s special when an animal chooses you. At least for me. You might think is silly plus nonsensical, but I have never shaken that feeling of excitement at being chosen by an animal. One summer I stayed with a friend and her family in Indiana. Their cat appeared to hate me during the day, but at night she took to curling up and sleeping on my chest. It was uncomfortable, but I would not move and do my best to sleep. I had been chosen! It was a gift I couldn’t discard.
My son went through a period time when ladybugs kept landing on him. It seemed I could hardly go anywhere without ending up with a ladybug. And even though I know it’s not rational, it was impossible for me not to feel this was magic. Or a blessing. Something. But I was very careful with the ladybugs. Ladybug don’t land on my son anymore, but ladybugs still have a place in my heart.
For the original owner of this chicken, this story doesn’t have a great ending. They must think their chicken is dead.
But it isn’t. It’s living with a lady who has portraits of her chickens painted.
For me the story has a happy ending. Lost chicken finds shelter in a strangers home, and against the odds, evading predators and cars, finds safety and adoration.
Have a good life, Tricksy. Thanks for choosing us.
Thanks for reading.
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