28 December 06
Chickens and Blue Jays:
High up in the trees five blue jays wait patiently for the chickens to wander off from the seed mixture that was tossed on the ground. One by one the chickens leave to scratch some place else in the yard and the blue jays descend on the food. Mr. Rooster does not like this intrusion at all. He rushes across the yard as fast as his two legs can carry him to chase them away from his precious territory. The Jays take flight and pronounce their unhappiness in a loud vocal chorus of screeches piercing my ears even into the house. Mr. Rooster struts around head held up high as king of the yard crowing ever so loud as to let his girls know that he is master and protector of his ladies. He slowly wanders off to scratch in other spots and the jays see this as an opportunity too fly back down to get more free delicious treats left behind from what they must think are dumb birds that can not fly and that over look precious pieces of corn and assorted seeds. Well Mr. Rooster turns around and there he goes again with his head just a bobbing, wings flapping as he races to defend that special spot.
Chickens taking flight:
How many feet from the road garden to the pigeon loft? I do not know, maybe forty or so. Why do you ask? The ground is covered in the first major snow storm of the season. I would say the ground is covered about four or five inches of this white cold stuff that my red chickens have never seen before. Their coop pen door has been opened and they have free range of the yard to go explore and scratch at the frozen ground. One by one they leave the coop picking up their legs and setting them down ever so careful. They seem puzzled if one can read a chicken. Well at least the sun is shining and the temperature is holding near zero. Eventually the yard gets explored and the chickens are scattered through out.
As I am looking out the kitchen window I see this one particular red chicken flapping her wings and beginning to run just like an airplane building up speed on a runway and by George she takes flight. She flies from the garden avoiding the snow covered ground all the way to the front of the pigeon loft. I guess she has decided that the snow is to cold on her chicken legs.
Car Chairs and Sunny Porches:
All creatures great and small may not be stirring on Christmas eve but during the windy days of December one of the red chickens is making life easier for her self and the cook. What a raucous, what is that noise in the front porch? I leave the view of the window to open the front door expecting a giant mouse or may be a cat to greet me at the door. But no, instead I have this red headed chicken making her self at home on top of a car seat soaking in the sun chuckling away as proud as can be. This is the life! There is no wind and the window pane magnifies the warmth of the sun and the car seats are soft. No eggs ever had it so good. I think to my self I ought to just put the frying pan there – one less step to do. Donna won’t have to trudge way out to the coop, walk in the dirty droppings and even more importantly the eggs are clean. If this was a one time happening I would not think much more of it. However Red now seems to have made this her special place and we often here her out there and yes Donna collects eggs off of the car seats.I wish I had a view of her slinking her way over here away from her chicken mates climbing the stairs to make her way into the junk crowded porch. I understand in the wild only the strong survive. I think my life may be in danger of the killer chicken. The view from the window – a different window but still a kitchen window – has Red perched on the window sill looking at me right in the eye. If I didn’t know better I would be thinking that she knows I am crippled and she wants to live inside where there is heat and comfort and that she was coming to get me. I hope she can put together with her chicken brain that it is Donna who takes her eggs not me and thus my life may be spared, I might have to go live in the coop with the other out casts though.
Wire verses Freedom:
The yard is bright as the morning sun rises higher and higher, soon spring will be sprung and life will commence again with full vigor. I know I am dreaming as it is only late December - winter has just officially begun a few days ago. The chicken and the pigeons I think are just as confused as my dreams are. As I look out the kitchen window I see the male pigeon do his strutting and mating herding to his chosen pigeon behind the wire. No place to hide – no place to go but back inside the loft as their freedom is doomed to the closed doors of the old tent trailer. A life spent behind wire for a crime they did not commit. But to live one must have hope and yes the offspring of the twelve – even though they do not know it - freedom is close at hand. One does not know what the day will bring forth; all these plans and ideas I had were zapped in the instant of an air bag going off. The freedom to soar ever so high - to feel the wind in your feathers – to land and peck at the ground is an experience my young pigeons have not had the joy to par take of. They watch with envy the chickens wandering around pecking and strutting about the yard. They watch the blue jays and other birds fly up into the sky soar over the pond- Freedom. Freedom will come to the youth- in time there will be a new loft built to separate the twelve from the rest and then they will have an open door to life and death. Death is always the opposite of life and there is a cost to Freedom. When that day comes and the young pigeons take flight they must face hawks, owls, foxes and every other predator that lurks in the brush or in the clouds, not to mention hydro wires, but they will be free.
Dog House Dark and Cozy:
There it sits waiting to be a home once again, looking abandoned and forsaken by the puppy Ben who now has decided like the chicken that the bigger house is more inviting comfortable to live in. Shingle-less and with out paint it sits there soaking up moisture, longing to be useful and appreciated once again. As I look out the kitchen window to my surprise one little chicken my white Bantam hen scoots inside to be followed by a red and then a black chicken. Three Chickens all in the dog house – what are they doing in there I am thinking as the minutes tick by on the kitchen clock and eventfully they do come out. I tell Donna of this and ask her to poke her head inside to see if this has become a nesting spot. I think that if I was a hen this would be a perfect spot to lay my egg. Her response is to inform me that there is no way she is going to put her head inside of the dog house. So as I look out the kitchen window I am grateful that I am not in the dog house because who would check up on me?