Pearl’s Life Coaching Flowchart #1

Pearl's Life Coaching Flowchart #1

With Valentine’s Day coming up this week, Pearl thought it might be good to offer a little help with answering one of life’s most challenging questions: “How can I tell if someone loves me so I can love them back?” So she has started calling herself a “Life Coach.”

To be honest, Pearl has become a little bored while waiting for another chance to do her newest standup comedy routine. She had even briefly considered working towards a college degree in her spare time.

Her first day at college was also her only day at college. It was one big disaster of a day.

She accidentally pecked holes all over her college entrance exam answer sheet which made it jam the scoring machine. The test proctors got really mad, and so she nervously nibbled her number two pencil to just sort of break the tension. No one laughed. No one gave her anything to eat at the end. No one gave her a comforting word or gesture. You’ll see why all of this is important later.

Pearl has vowed to return one day as a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker at the college. Pearl never gives up.

In my opinion, though she won’t admit it, this is mostly about having an opportunity to wear her new Valentine’s Day hat. (This might be to make up for not being able to wear a college graduation hat. You know, it’s the kind with the tassel. She does love hats…and tassels.)

Please keep in mind this is all from Pearl’s unique chicken perspective. Whether or not this carries over to a human perspective is something you can decide for yourself.

“Do they refuse to laugh at your best jokes?”

Since Pearl is a standup comedian, this is the first and perhaps the most important question of all. You should delight in each other’s company and at least share a laugh or two.

If they refuse to even give you a “pity laugh,” you probably want to watch out! They are likely to peck you on the head when you least expect it and then knock you off of the perch!

To be extra sure, tell your very worst joke. You’ll know which one that is because it’s the one that makes the other chickens roll their eyes and walk away. If they still laugh even at your worst joke, there is a strong chance they love you and want to be your friend!

Pearl’s Bottom Line: One of these days, you’ll be too old to do much of anything except share stories and laughs. Plan ahead for those sunny “retired-from-egg-laying” days!

“Do they bring you food?”

If they bring you food and have made sure it’s something you like ahead of time, this is almost a sure sign you can love them back!

You still need to be careful because they might look at you as food. This is not good. If they are licking their chops and drooling when they give you food, this is definitely not good. Run for your life!

Nevertheless. Don’t forget they may not have any food to give you. This is not so good, but it is understandable.

Even if they don’t give you any food, give them one more chance, particularly if they are a chicken since chickens do not have cupboards or refrigerators for keeping food.

Pearl’s Bottom Line: Bringing someone earthworms is undoubtedly the best way to show someone you love them. If you have no earthworms to bring them, let them have their first choice when you are looking for earthworms together.

“Do they let you rest your head on them?”

This is Pearl’s ultimate decisive question, and I tend to agree with her. This is how young chickens let each other know they feel safe with each other and support each other. For people it might be different, but the idea is still the same.

When you can just be yourself without having to pretend you are someone you are not…well, that is a gift. When just being with someone makes you forget all of your worries and woes…well, that is a gift too.

Pearl’s Bottom Line: Life can be tough for chickens, and even more so for people. If you find rest in someone else, love them back! Let them find rest in you!

I have a feeling “Let them find rest in you!” will probably lead into Pearl’s next flowchart which just might use a question something like, “How can I love someone without worrying whether they love me back or not?” It’s one of Pearl’s greatest life coaching skills and something she does very well: loving everyone until they have no other choice except loving her back. Like I said, Pearl never gives up!

My Life With Gracie…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.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Curious Tail Feathers

My Life With Gracie…“Flap. Clop.”

Flap, Clop

“Flap. Clop. Flap. Clop. Flap. Clop.” This is the sound made when a ballet slippers is coming off the foot of a chicken who is not really made to wear a tutu and ballet slippers. At least, it is what I heard the first time Blanche was dressed for ballet.

All chickens enjoy dancing, just not necessarily ballet dancing. It is Gracie’s dream to be a ballerina, and so we all support making her dream come true. She is quite beautiful in the ballet outfit I made for her.

Blanche can seem big and boisterous, and yet from the very beginning, she was gentle and forgiving with her hatchling mate, Pearl. No matter how noisy or annoying Pearl would get, Blanche was always kind to her and put up with all of Pearl’s silly and pestering ways.

As patient and long-suffering as Blanche has been with Pearl, she was not that way with herself the first time she put on her tutu and ballet slippers. For Pearl, it just came naturally because she loves the stage and performing.

If Pearl ends up looking silly, so much the better. She will just use it as an opportunity for a few laughs. But not Blanche. She may look like Pearl on the outside, but she is an entirely different chicken on the inside.

Blanche does not want to look silly. She is taller than any of the others, and that is really all of the attention she wants. She doesn’t even want that much attention…unless it means reaching up for treats before anyone else!

Her first time in a tutu and ballet slippers turned out to be an attention-getting disaster. She wanted so much to look and do like the others, to simply blend in with the rest, but it didn’t happen.

She just couldn’t move the way the ballet slippers wanted her to move, and the tutu got in the way so she couldn’t see what her feet were doing.

“Flap. Clop. Flap. Clop. Flap. Clop.”

At first she tried to ignore it and keep dancing. Then she tried to fix it with her beak while hop-dancing on one foot. It just kept getting worse, and all of the others had noticed.

This was more than Blanche could bear. She wanted so much to be like the others, but it just wasn’t happening for her. Although I was tempted to tell her “Get back in those ballet slippers and keep trying,” I knew in my heart it was not going to work.

“Hold it, Sweeties! Your Daddy needs to say something.”

Everyone stopped and looked at me, because we almost never stop in the middle of a dance. Blanche hung her head as if she was in for the worst reprimand ever…and no treats for the rest of her life.

“Blanche, Honey. This is all my fault. I should have realized your dancing talents are only hindered by ballet slippers. You are meant to be a free spirit, a natural dancer, or as the French say, ‘une danseuse aux pieds nus’ and we must honor that.”

The older girls all repeated back and pondered these new words, “Une danseuse aux pieds nus!”

“How wonderful!” Everyone exclaimed. “Totally brilliant! So very French! Oh là là!”

Blanche looked relieved, particularly because everyone was paying attention to me rather than the mangled ballet slipper just barely hanging from her foot.

“Sweetheart, if you don’t mind…and I know this is a terrible sacrifice to ask of you…but would you mind not dancing with ballet slippers until we can figure out how best to use your natural talents? We may need to order special ballet slippers for you and matching ones for the others…all of the way from Paris, France.”

Everyone was beyond excited. “Paris!”

They all looked ready to faint, especially little Emily. “France!”

“Why that is the absolute ballet capital of the whole world!” exclaimed Gracie who knew exactly what I was doing but didn’t let on. She just gave me a knowing wink.

So we all helped Blanche take her off her outfit and then we all danced barefoot, ‘aux pieds nus’ just like Blanche was made to dance. Though to tell the truth, I mostly just stood with my shoes off and watched while dancing in my heart.

Are there special ballet slippers made only in Paris, France which are designed specially for chickens? I don’t know. But I do know Love covers our inadequacies, all of the things we will never be able to do on our own. We are made to dance with Love.

My Life With Gracie taught me not everyone is made for a tutu and ballet slippers, but everyone is made to dance, even if only in their hearts.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Flap, Clop