Monday, April 20, 2015

onwards and upwards

Before dawn, before the first crow of the rooster, the chicken mama (the true owner of our cheeper brood) finally responds to my calls and comes to take Oreo away, to a farm sanctuary of sorts, she tells us -- a place where he can presumably act out to his heart's content. Ed vows to be a frequent visitor.

After, the remaining three hens seem a tad scattered in their behavior. Do they sense that their protector is not trailing behind, as he did for all their time at their farmette?

Scotch gets pushed around just a little more than usual. Oh! The three girls are fighting! Are there new hierarchies forming already?


It's a cool and wet day -- not the kind that invites you to be outside. Many of the daffodils have bent with the rain that pummeled them all night long. But most stand strong and tall. Do flowers, too, have hierarchies of strength?


For the first time in a long time, Ed succeeds in picking up a white hen (they usually scatter if you reach toward them). I'm thinking -- maybe he's trying harder with the girls, now that Oreo's gone.


I clean out the coop -- another first in a long while. Oreo never liked it when I neared their space. My movements around the farmette had been greatly influenced by where he was and what he was doing. Not anymore, I'm thinking. I've regained my freedom, though I, too, sense the small void now, without his overbearing presence.

Ed and I eat breakfast. I stick cut daffodils from the garden in a vase for the kitchen table.


And in the afternoon, I go to Snowdrop's home. Having had a set of adventurous days away from home, she is utterly delighted to be in her familiar surroundings! She is all smiles and laughter! I sit her up on the couch and note that she is so much stronger now! She doesn't immediately tilt to one side!


Too, she is a total chatterbox! Even as she laughs at my imitations of her talk!


In the last days, she has become more adept at grasping favorite toys. This one she adores and she is convinced that she can fit it in her mouth. All of it.


I walk away in the evening thinking how incredibly happy this girl is. Something is going right in her life, that's for sure!

At home, Ed is putting on a good front, but I sense his feeling of loss. You say -- it's a rooster! He'll say -- it's a rooster!! 

I had texted the chicken mama to ask when and where Ed could visit with Oreo. She answered that there was no space at the sanctuary and so she is looking elsewhere.

Outside, Butter snaps and pecks at her sister. Scotch moves away. She knows that she's the next target.

I think about what I disliked most about Oreo: his unpredictability. But the water gun nearly solved that! And Snowdrop -- I can't have her play freely in the yard if he's around! But she wont be playing freely this year -- she's too young for that. Besides, Ed has always said that he will lock up the rooster if there are visitors. By next summer, if Oreo even lives that long, we can reevaluate.

How about my freedom? Here's the thing: in the past few weeks, I have done some serious thinking about what we fear and dislike and what we push away because we are too concerned about our own vulnerabilities to ever give it a running chance.

I tell Ed to call the chicken mama and ask for Oreo back. He hesitates, but only for a moment. He promises me a smaller, better water gun.
Here, look at this set of reviews! You know, there is a vocabulary that is used specifically for water pistols: soaker, pump volume, air-shot, blaster...

There's no doubt. Ed is thrilled. 

And yes, we agree to also take another orphaned chicken from the chicken mama. Yes, yes, we are the keepers of unwanted cheepers. And I do believe that this is a good thing.