Who would have ever imagined building a chicken coop in my backyard would become an allegory for understanding the world and life and everything? Well, perhaps I’m exaggerating. Nevertheless, chicken coops as an allegory or a parable would be about protection but also separation.
In many ways, the feeling of separation shapes life. It gives us a sense there is something more just out of reach, something to give meaning and purpose to life. Separation and anticipation go “hand in hand”…or “hand in wing.”
The first coop I built was based on 6 foot lumber, meaning it was no more than 6 feet in height and no more that 6 feet in length. I’m well over 6 feet tall, so I couldn’t go inside without stooping over. It was a great size for a chicken, but not so great for a Chicken Daddy.
So what I made to protect my chickens from predators had the consequence of keeping us separated. They couldn’t come outside where I was without plenty of extra fencing protection from predators and my very watchful eyes. I couldn’t go inside where they were without hunching over, and even then I couldn’t pick them up and hold them.
It was wonderful at first knowing I had built a sturdy, safe home for my chickens with a nice run area on the side. Yet as the chickens grew, I began feeling like I was losing the “me and my little chicken family feeling.”
We would sit together and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes we would talk back and forth through the fencing. They would copy my intonation and phrasing, and I would copy theirs. Other times it was just good to sit together.
For weeks I planned and built and went to sleep dreaming about our new bigger more wonderful home. It would be one with extra headroom for me and lots of wing flapping room for my little family. Every chance I got, I would tell them, “You have no idea how wonderful your new home will be!”
My Life With Gracie gave me a chance to anticipate the joy of hugging my chickens.
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