My Life With Gracie…Do Chickens Tell Ghost Stories?

Do Chickens Tell Ghost Stories

This is just one of the many questions I wonder about on a cool autumn night. So I sit outside once the sun has gone down, wrapped up in my jacket.

And I wait.

There’s a lit candle at my feet, and a flashlight in my hand. I’m ready to flip it on in an instant.

And I listen.

There are low murmurs coming from the chicken coop, and I suddenly become aware of sounds around me in the dark shadows of the garden. These are sounds I’ve never heard before though surely they have been there all along. Haven’t they?

I flip on the flashlight and head for the safety of my own back door.

And so I am left with a new question…Who is the real “chicken” here?!?

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated! This is just a fun little post. Perhaps your own imagination will run a bit wild with the possibilities of ghost stories told by chickens?

Unexplainable Mysteries

Unexplainable Mysteries

Maybe your neighborhood is one that is visited by an ice cream truck during the summer, or like in our neighborhood as soon as there are slightly warmer days in spring. My chickens are fascinated by the musical sounds made by the ice cream truck.

Ours makes its way slowly through the neighborhood, street by street. Over and over again, it plays the same tune, an odd mechanical chiming version of “The Entertainer.” As it gets closer to our street and to our house, the chickens stretch their necks out farther and farther. Then when it fades away, they all return to their regular chicken routine.

They are intently trying to figure it all out. Some notes seem to make sense to them, but the rest remain a mystery. Perhaps they imagine a huge magnificent songbird with multicolored feathers passing through the neighborhood. They are definitely curious about whatever might be making the oddly-patterned sounds they hear.

People so often want to understand everything. And when we think we understand something, we are ready to move on to the next new thing. Done! Check! Got it! Move on!

But I think there is ample space in life for mysteries, even unsolvable mysteries. Perhaps it is best when there are still some things which we don’t completely understand. Longings. Joy. Love. God.

We may have a tendency to count as insignificant those things we feel we completely understand. The unknown can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be.

Perhaps it is no coincidence how the things we value most, including life itself, are surrounded in mystery. The unknown draws us in, and then we discover what we thought was just an interesting short verse of poetry is actually one sheet in a vast library. We are compelled to continue reading, all the while knowing we will never finish the unending task we have set for ourselves.

Although I could ask my chickens to tell me what they think about the noise of the ice cream truck, I like leaving those answers as my own mysteries for pondering and imagining possibilities.

And really, if my chickens wanted to know more about the noise of the ice cream truck, they would ask me. But they don’t, even though they know I would explain it all to them. Perhaps they enjoy having mysteries in life which they don’t completely understand just as I do.

My Life With Gracie taught me there will always be things we will never figure out, and that is as it should be.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Curious Tail Feathers

Curious Tail Feathers

If you watch and study chickens long enough, you begin to know exactly what they are thinking and feeling by their tail feathers. They are like little flags sticking up and signaling the world all of their thoughts and emotions.

Since people don’t have tail feathers, I think this is called “body language” rather than “tail feather language.” Chickens don’t have a name for it.

This wasn’t anything I really thought about until I started working on some of the scenery and props for “The Rose Garden Princess,” our own backyard ballet production. With scrap lumber and paint buckets and tools spread out everywhere, tail feathers were practically all of my chickens I could see sometimes!

There were chicken tail feathers up, down, sideways. There were chicken tail feathers spread out, gathered together, fanned apart. Everything means something different about what is happening and how they are feeling.

It’s no surprise how protective chickens are of their feathers, particularly their tail feathers. They are one big way chickens have to communicate with each other…and with anyone who is willing to learn their “tail feather language.”

But there was one tail feather movement Amelia was making I just could not figure out. It was sort of a straight up in the air semi-circular movement first one way and then the other. So I asked her what it meant.

She looked at me as if I had asked the most ridiculous question in the world. “Do you mind? I have an itch back there!”

And so it goes. Never a dull moment! Be curious. Be creative. Be adventurous.

My Life With Gracie gave me great pleasure while I watched the curious tail feathers of my chickens discovering our next creative adventure.

Each post shares a glimpse into my journey as a writer and illustrator. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!