Monday, September 29, 2008

A Chicken and Egg Situation

From Dan: Well, it looks like the stock market laid an egg again today. But here in our Little House in the Midway, we are eagerly anticipating our first eggs from our small backyard flock, which should be arriving soon. Our hens are spry young adults, with their feathers proudly poofed and layered and with their waddles coming in.

We've been improving their henhouse with the addition of nesting boxes, which are two small sheltered spaces where our girls will feel snug and cozy enough to lay. We added a golf ball and a large white marble that Riley got from The Essence of Nonsense to encourage egg laying thoughts. We'll see which works better.

It strikes me how smart chickens are. Not learned or intelligent, but in an instinctive and inborn way. They find their way back into their hutch every night. They flock and stick together. They peck only the ripe tomatoes in the garden. They know that when half a crusty old baguette is thrown to them, the easiest part to eat will be the cut end.

I don't know if the simple lives of chickens might hold some promise for calming the turmoil that our country seems to be flying into. But, it's hard to deny how much folk wisdom comes from these silly birds--almost all of which currently applies on Wall Street: The chickens have come home to roost. The fox guarding the henhouse. Don't keep all your eggs in one basket. Egg on their faces.

Maybe these birds have just grown on us, but I can't help feeling reassured that they're with us, providing sustenance while we sustain them as humans and chickens have done for thousands of years.
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