Chickens can run around as part of a fun game they make up. They can also run around because they are scared and confused. For whatever reason, I always see them as little baby chicks when they are running around even though they are all now mature egg-laying hens. (That is why I’ve shown them as chicks for today’s cartoon.)
Sunday was a coop and run construction project day, and it caused the scared and confused kind of running around. Usually they don’t mind a project day. They can watch me while I’m working in the garage and carrying things around. They study everything I’m doing and even how power tools work, particularly Lefty before he moved to a farm. But Sunday was different because I was working overhead.
I had originally finished off their new bigger home with a plastic weatherproof tarp this spring. It stood up to spring showers and summer thunderstorms, but it wasn’t going to hold up to the hurricane predicted to head our way.
After doing as much work as possible in the garage, it was time to replace the old tarp covering with a permanent solid roof. My girls did not like that at all. They didn’t like it when I pulled off the old tarp. They didn’t like it when I moved my ladder into their space. They really didn’t like it when the new roof was hoisted up and attached to the frame of their coop and run.
Bessie was the only one who seemed unaffected. She just sat in the coziness of her favorite nesting box, calmly working on laying her egg while below everyone else was frantically sounding alarms and running everywhere.
I’d like to think they were upset about my redecorating choices. I imagined them saying, “Do you see the color on that roof? Where they all out of samples for you to bring home and try out?” or “That ladder does not match the nesting boxes. What were you thinking?!?”
But really, they didn’t know what was going on. They didn’t know there was a potentially catastrophic hurricane heading our way. They didn’t know I was working to protect them. They didn’t hear me saying in a soothing way, “It’s going to be okay, Sweeties. Your Daddy is just making you safe and protecting you. It’s not so pleasant right now, but it will be worth it. You’ll see.”
All they had to do was look up and see. All they had to do was listen to my voice, and they would know I wasn’t being angry or mean. Then they would understand I wasn’t trying to hurt them. At least that’s what I hoped. But I knew they wouldn’t. I just had to work fast so things could get back to normal.
Later I realized how too often in my life, I’ve panicked like my chickens did. It was often when changes were happening and I felt powerless to stop or even influence those changes. I didn’t look up. I didn’t trust there were often reasons for things I couldn’t understand at the time.
I was too often much too quick to react in fear rather than calmly watching plans far beyond my understanding being worked out in my life. So many times it could have all been so much easier.
My Life With Gracie made me realize things are much scarier when you don’t look up.
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