I know. It isn’t Easter but it almost seems that way here. Bunny worked magic and laid an egg last night. I should mention that Bunny is a chicken. Bunny’s story is humorous and inspiring. She came to us on Easter morning this year as a practical joke. A friend learned that we had aquired a chicken tractor and had ordered chicks. He thought it would be funny to toss one of his old used up hens into the coop with some plastic easter eggs. “She wasn’t good for anything but the frying pan anymore.” She was rough looking and a bit dirty.
I woke up on Easter morning to one of my daughters at my bedside telling me that my chicken had scared her. What? A chicken? Yes. She said. In the coop. Of course I had to go look into this. Sure enough. There she was on a nest of pink, yellow and blue plastic eggs. Angry as a wet….well…hen when I reached in to love her up a little. As it turns out she believed she had laid all those eggs and when I removed them the next day. She was ornery and wouldn’t get off her nesting spot. When we figured out who put her in there, I asked him if she was lonely. He laughed. OK. Evidently not lonely.
As all of her drama was occurring, my baby chicks had arrived and were immediately put in a box in the shed under a heat lamp. Bunny might have heard their cheeping as they where nearby her, gave no indication of it. A few weeks later. The weather was warm and the 8 little chicks had out grown their box. Bunny seemed ornery still but I had finally gotten her flushed off her nest and wandering about the yard each evening.
My baby “girls” were introduced to Bunny in her tractor. I worried she would peck them to death. I needn’t have.
These little chicks couldn’t have known a better mother.
Bunny took them under her proverbial wing. She taught them what to eat as free range chickens. Those little ones learned how to consume kitchen and garden scraps with relish. I barely have to buy food for them. She marches them into the coop every night to bed. All I have to do is close the door.
As summer has progressed, Bunny’s little girls have grown to tower above her. She is a little white Brahma hen. She has filled out and is a plump smooth sturdy little lady, but little she is. The other chickens are a mix of leg horns and other large egg layer breeds….well there is one anomoly…but that is another story. One chicken at a time. She still ushers them about as the senior member of their little flock. When a dog or cat happens through, she flaps and screeches and runs AT the threat to chase it away. Pretty good for an old bird.
Guests at Bygone Basics have come to to love feeding the chickens as part of their visit. Everyone loves Bunny’s uniquely feathered feet. Her red comb and pure white body are even the colors of the Bygone Basics logo. She became quite a pleasure to have, and a character too.
Last night, Bunny laid an egg.
She went from a washed up old chicken who was no longer laying to a vibrant, healthy, contributing member of her society. I wish I understood fully how this transformation happened. We women sometimes find we have to move on and rediscover ourselves at various phases in our lives. Bunny did it. She was old, terrified, tired and useless….or so the people in her life thought. She was tossed aside. And landed in a strange environment. She didn’t just lay down and die. She transformed herself. She made a community and gave herself completely to it. She is now a beautiful and valued senior member of my little society of girls.
In many ways I relate to my little fiesty Bunny. Transformations are hard, but if a chicken can do it……