My Life With Gracie…About Anticipation

About Anticipation

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.

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

About Anticipation

My Life With Gracie…About That Greener Grass

About That Greener Grass

If a little chick ever quivers with excitement, it would have to be when they leave the controlled environment of their brooder and stand on grassy lawn for the first time. It’s as if they suddenly realize, “This is too good to be true. This is the life for me!”

There’s warming sunshine to enjoy and cool, still dewy grass to eat…and bugs everywhere! Suddenly the entire world is vividly alive with color and sound and sensations.

The first time playing outside, they didn’t see the hawks overhead or the snakes at the edge of the woods or the neighborhood stray cats passing through my backyard on the way to their next free meal. My little chicks only saw the grass on the other side of the plastic playpen fencing somehow looking better than what was right in front of them. Then a few spotted the gap in the fencing I had somehow overlooked. It was just big enough to squeeze through, and then they took off!

After chasing them around the yard, I realized those little chicks probably don’t think very far ahead. They see an opportunity. They take advantage of it!

Little chicks have no concept of fear or consequences. They see something they want, and they go after it. They only know they want to explore and taste and see everything for themselves. They have a singular focus and a huge annoyance over anything getting in the way of what they want.

I can be such a baby chick sometimes! And I can get myself into some real situations all because I’m thinking about that greener grass over there!

When we had a really close call with a feral cat, we all started looking at things differently, but that’s another story for another day.

My Life With Gracie gave me a chance to rethink boundaries and fences.

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

About That Greener Grass

Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

Each Friday when possible, I’d like to post a photo of Gracie or one of my other chickens…maybe all them! This is so everyone can have a better idea of the inspirations behind the cartoons posted here. (Yes, Gracie is a real chicken, not just a cartoon chicken!)

Hold onto your heart! This week’s photo is of Rudy before she was even a week old. You can see her first real wing feathers developing. The colors and patterns are really nice too. All of the chicks seem to be even happier and more excited (if that’s possible!) when their wing feathers start coming in and developing. It’s like they can’t wait to try them out!

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