Evenings spent with my chickens are the best part of almost any day. We share a treat of some fresh fruit and recount the day’s events or simply discuss whatever is on our minds.
“So Gracie, what is the best thing about being a chicken?”
“Well, I guess the best thing about being a chicken is being a chicken.”
She clucked at her cleverness.
“Chickens get to hunt for worms. I love the joy and anticipation of running with a worm I’ve just found. What is the best thing about being a person?”
“That is a tough question.”
“And you can’t just say ‘the best thing about being a person is being a person.’ You would just be copying me!”
“The best thing about being a person is watching chickens running with a worm they just found. That’s not really copying you, is it? Gracie, you are certainly in a fun mood today.”
“I guess so. Maybe not. But don’t change the subject. I do think it’s a good question even though the answer can’t change anything.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, if it is the best, it is at the top. You can’t get any better. Ask about what is the worst. Then you have something to work on. You can get better then.”
“I see what you mean. So what is the worst thing about being a chicken?”
“Sometimes we care about people, but they don’t care about us,” she said without hesitating.
“I think that may be the worst thing about being a person too. When other people don’t care about you.”
We looked off together towards the part of the yard that had gotten overgrown over the years. It made a nice place for traveling birds like starlings and crows and thrushes to stop and rest as they came through our neighborhood, but we didn’t see any just then.
I enjoyed moments like this when Gracie and I shared things in common like how important is was to know we are cared for.
“After all, we are just farm animals,” she muttered. “Just farm animals.”
Our moment of connectedness was broken.
She looked down at the ground searching for nothing in particular, and then she moved as if to get up.
My Life With Gracie taught me words can make everything in our world change in an instant.
Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. This post felt too long, and so it is divided into two parts. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!