The Joys of Spring

March 30, 2009

The trio has been busy this week. Running from one end of the yard to the other as if they’re training for the 100-yard dash. They love the feel of the soft squishy ground beneath their toes instead of the ice pellet snow. The more mud and water the harder they splash. Yesterday, Roxanne ran up to me with her feet muddy, legs dirty and a blackened beak begging to be picked up. Chickens don’t jump on you like dogs, they’re far more subtle but just as insistent. They stop in your path, crouch, and quiver in a passive stance waiting to be scooped up into your arms. Mud wrestling with a hen, however, is not my idea of amusement. Roxanne was miffed.

Their days now are taken up with nibbling the few available blades of grass, digging up the garden and chasing every blowing leaf. You never know where you’re going to find them. Indeed, this afternoon we couldn’t find them. They had escaped.

No, they hadn’t learned the Fosbury flop. Instead, they shimmied to the fat hen squeeze. The winter winds had loosened one of the sections under the deck and the wide-planked hens squeezed their bodies into the tiny space to freedom on the side of the house. They were found at the side fence running to and fro frantic to get back into the yard. Freedom without boundaries can be very frightening.

Later, Roxanne and Cleo happily snuggled together on my lap. Relaxed and feeling safe, their eyelids lazily closed. A little taste of adventure is fine, as long as it’s followed by a warm canoodle at home with someone you love.

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