My Life With Gracie…Feeling Vulnerable

Feeling Vulnerable

Molting this fall has been tough on Amelia. She hasn’t been herself. After losing so many feathers, she’s been unable to fly, not even just a little get up on a roosting spot.

When she stretches out her wings, which is very seldom right now, there is practically nothing to see. That may be why she very seldom does this. She hides her inabilities from the others.

In many ways she reminds me of a teenager who has so many changes happening they feel alienated and overwhelmed. What makes it particularly troubling for Amelia is that when she went through her teenage season, she had hatchmates to go through it with her. Now she is the only one experiencing a “hard molt” while the others have had “soft molts” during the year.

Being “My Little Girl,” she may hide behind my legs or under my chair, but also being “My Big Girl,” she will find some way to set herself apart from the others. Her latest acrobatic accomplishment is to stand on one foot. None of the others do this, and she is exceptionally skilled.

I wonder if this is somehow training for what comes next. As I’ve told her before, “One day you will be the first chicken to fly to the moon and back…or something even better.”

My Life With Gracie helped me see when we are feeling vulnerable, it’s probably because we are growing to meet new challenges.

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

Feeling Vulnerable

My Life With Gracie…A World Of Imitators

A World Of Imitators

When compared with animals, chickens are perhaps some of the most curious and most cautious of all. This is an odd combination.

Not often, just occasionally, we will have company. My chickens inspect with great curiosity anyone who comes near them. They are perhaps sizing them up to see if they are the generous sort of person. You know, the kind who might have brought them something to eat like chunks of watermelon.

If no handouts happen right away, their most extreme level of caution kicks in. After all, who wouldn’t want to feed a sweet, adorable, generous egg-laying chicken? Very suspicious!

They will inspect the visitor, often with some exploratory pecks to the feet and thighs. It’s all what you might call innocent fun, although a few times visitors report seeing a distinct “Tasty!” look in the chickens’ eyes after a thorough foot pecking.

This may be due to a chicken’s view of most things being either “food” or “not food…yet.” Still I must appreciate their caution. They seem to realize most other animals view chickens as “food” or “not food…yet.”

I’m not completely sure, but I wonder if people may not be cautious enough. We seem to be all too often easily taken in by imitators who promise so much and deliver so little, often seeking to better themselves at the expense of others.

My chickens know my voice and they know my routine. Being chickens, they may wander to another in hope of a treat, but they always come back to their big Chicken Daddy.

My Life With Gracie taught me just because someone claims to have big feet doesn’t mean they really do and doesn’t make them your daddy worth following.

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

A World Of Imitators

My Life With Gracie…This New Day

This New Day

A week ago, I imagined I would be writing something very brief like “Due to Hurricane Florence, I’ve been unable to post anything for today. The chickens and I are hunkering down as the storm is passing through Coastal Virginia.”

With the storm having taken a turn and passing through Coastal North Carolina instead, I had more time for today’s cartoon and story. Hopefully I’ve found something meaningful to say for any day, stormy or calm.

The words “This New Day” took on additional meaning for me once my chickens moved outside from the safety of their brooder in my sunroom. That first night was a nearly sleepless one for me. I couldn’t wait to get up the next morning, go outside, and do a “beak count.” All safe.

Nighttime is a very scary time for chickens. They have no night vision. Once the evening comes and sunlight grows faint, they go up to roost in their coop (or up into tree limbs in the wild). Nighttime is their most vulnerable time because they are unable to see predators. They can’t defend themselves against what they can’t see.

Hurricanes and catastrophes and unfortunate life circumstances are much like that as well for people. Sometimes it maybe difficult, but I think it’s still important to be grateful just for making it safely into the next new day.

Sometimes at night, particularly if it’s windy or rainy or snowing, I will just go outside to be with my chickens. I will usually hear a soft little chicken sound made to see if it’s me or a predator. I’ll answer back, “It’s just me, your Daddy.” Then we talk for a while and they go back to sleep while I watch over them.

Whether they understand and appreciate this or not, I’m unsure. I like to believe they are thinking, “He is in this with us.”

I do this for them, of course, but I also do it for myself. It reminds me I’m being watched over as well.

My Life With Gracie let me know with certainty what it means to be brought in safety to this new day.

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

This New Day