This bird. Let’s talk about him a second. So, he was supposed to be a hen. He was the most lovable chick of the four we got, and came toward Cole and Riley’s little eager hands more often than the others.
I panicked a little when I saw his neck feathers coming in long and majestically pointed. I called every country living, animal loving friend I had, hoping for a good work gig to manifest.
When no one could take him, I listened to a hundred stew jokes. I researched city code. I called my police friend, and confirmed I was not breaking any laws. I spoke to every neighbor within earshot, and assured them I would be responsive if they were disturbed by him in the slightest.
I researched chicken behavior. I researched the little collar he wears, that keeps him from crowing so loudly, and made one. Actually, I made five.
The last one worked. I take it off every so often and carry him around to give his neck skin a break. I check all the feathers for signs of damage.
I have taught him he will meet a side of me he will not like, if he threatens any of my people flock. We have worked it out.
Most of the time, I laugh about this happy accident, and the ridiculous nature of walking down the street with a chicken under my arm to pick my daughter up from our neighborhood school. I laugh at the odd looks my husband glowers onto the bird as he sits on my lap napping as I watch football. I laugh and laugh and laugh.
But today, I went out to give the birds the contents of our jack o’ lanterns–all the seeds and guts. Then I stood back and watched him gently croon and talk to all the ladies, as he lovingly picked up one pumpkin seed at a time and dropped them in turns, at their feet.
Yes, love wins.