Showing posts from November, 2008

a bird thing. or- what I learned about chickens.

The first thing I noticed was how much they talk. It must be a bird thing. They start talking even before they hatch, waking into consciousness and peeping while still crammed inside the egg. The baby chicks peep all day long. The sound doesn’t seem to come from their beaks, but from their bellies, like the center of a squeaky toy: happy little balls of fluff running around and under the fence and into the woods and out again, with their mother hen ruffling her feathers and running to catch up, clucking at them the whole time. She’s too large to fit under the fence, so she flies over it to stay near them, making me wonder if the rest of the chickens are just too lazy to fly. Such a gossipy, clucky, crowy bunch. Always with an opinion about something. One of the roosters got laryngitis and lost his voice, but it didn’t keep him from talking; hanging out where I worked, cocking his head sideways at me and rasping his judgements in a barely audible croak. Then he turned his head t