Before I had my own chickens, I had no idea what is involved with laying an egg. Pearl had no idea either.
She was so excited when her hatch-mate Blanche got ready to lay an egg for the first time. She would follow her around closer than usual to the point where Blanche couldn’t find a private spot to get herself ready for whatever was ahead.
I’m not sure which was more happier when Blanche finished laying her first egg. Blanche was of course happy because she was finally over the long, new, “What’s happening to me?” kind of experience. Pearl was just fascinated by the whole thing and seemed to be thinking, “At last we are real hens like the others!” (It didn’t occur to Pearl that Blanche was now officially a hen while she was still a pullet.)
Pearl, as usual, was overjoyed. Up until when she was ready to lay her own first egg, she would climb into the nesting box with Blanche and pretend to lay an egg with her. Always she had the same “Look at us!” expression on her face, while Blanche’s was more “You just have no idea!” I know chickens aren’t really able to do facial expressions like people, but I do believe Pearl was grinning, just as surely as Blanche was rolling her eyes in disbelief.
What Pearl (and I) didn’t know is eggs don’t just “drop out” like bubble gum from a vending machine. It’s not always easy and it’s not always comfortable.
Eventually Pearl laid her first egg, and she learned every good gift comes with some kind of discomfort and perhaps pain. Every valuable gift costs someone something. Sometimes it’s money or time or effort, but always it costs something of the other person, a part of themselves. But it is a part of themselves that they willingly give up for love.
My Life With Gracie woke me up to how the best gifts cost…us.
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