When I opened the chicken house door to check on my little banty last Friday, she was off her nest. I immediately went back to look closer at the chicken yard I had zipped by in my rush to see my little banty first. A crowd of chickens flocked the yard. No little banty. I went back to the chicken house. I must have missed her. But, no, she wasn’t there. Back to the chicken yard. Back to the chicken house. Back and forth, disbelief and slow reality sinking in as I found the evidence.
She was just a chicken.
But she wasn’t just a chicken because I had made her real. Not just to me, but to you, too.
I used to watch Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. I adored him. He was so hokey and so sincere at the same time. Everyone was special in their own way. I think that extends to animals.
I tell their stories. I wanted the little banty’s story to end differently. And if I was Beatrix Potter, I could have made that happen. When I wrote romance novels, I could control the outcome. This blog is the storybook of a farm. It’s a “neverending story” set in a real world where life’s sometimes random harshness can wipe out a moment of innocent charm. It’s a world where you can love a chicken and care if it dies.
And I think there’s a little teeny bit of what makes life worth living in that. I feel a responsibility when I have made you invest real emotion in an animal by the stories I’ve told. I hope that the good moments will always outshine the bad. I hope that I can make it worth your while to take the risk that comes with caring.
I was amazed by the outpouring of real emotion in comments and emails about the little banty. Whatever animals qualify as “the least of God’s creatures” –the little banty would surely be in their company. She was small, even for a chicken. There are millions of little chickens all over the world just like her–and all of them special in their own way. I like to think she was representin’.
And our story goes on…..
Thank you for your support and just for being here.