Caring for baby chicks everyday in their brooder box was tremendously fun. Nevertheless, I was relieved when it was time to move them into the great big outdoors. They are noisy!
Their world expanded tremendously. It also gave them a chance to see I was more than a big hand above them bringing food and water and checking their little bottoms for “pasty butt.” They saw their Chicken Daddy was a big 6 foot 2 inch 240 pound Protector and Provider!
They also had a chance to see how much they had their big old Chicken Daddy wrapped around their little baby feathers! Did I mind? Not really. But I noticed something different about Gracie when I started hand-feeding them in their new chicken run.
Summer corn is always a favorite. On the cob is good. Cut off of the cob and in a dish is better. But everyone knows cut off of the cob and then hand-fed tastes best!
Whenever I was hand-feeding the chickens, all of the others kept their eyes on the treats in my hand, but not Gracie. She kept her eyes on my face. Even with her most favorite treats, she kept her eyes on my face. She trusted me to get what she loved right to her without worrying over whether she would be overlooked or left out.
This trust, probably more than anything else, made me love her as “My Best Girl Ever.” This one simple act touched my heart more than the lump on her side, more than how she wasn’t as social as the others, and more than my concern she might never become an egg-laying hen.
Gracie just looked at my face and trusted me to guide treats right to her waiting beak. She wouldn’t take her eyes off of my face even when those treats were her favorite bites of banana. The others would eagerly follow my hand. Gracie’s gaze stayed fixed unblinkingly on my face.
Gracie is a much better receiver than I may ever be.
My Life With Gracie showed me how to look at the face and not at the hand of the giver.
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