When everyone else is asleep I walk the garden on a rare sunny morning. I didn’t plant the sunflower. A bird did. Thank you, bird.
No two days are alike in the country. Everything is fleeting and many things are lovely. But there are worries. Too many worms in a goat’s gut and they’re dead. Not enough in a garden and maybe there’s a problem.
After weeks of rain everything smells fresh and feels mushy. Only one cup of coffee into the day but by the time I walk down to the quiet barn I’m awake. The big ducks quack in their house and the small ducks and chickens chirp-chirp around their feeder patiently until I open the coop hatch. Mother hen and her charges are the first out.
The Buff Orpingtons we’re raising for a friend (in exchange for turkeys) bound out the door next. I call, “Claire-Claire” as I enter the coop and greet our friendly Dominique chick. She came to us with curled feet. We tried splints and bandages but she refused them and the other chicks attacked her so she gets by with plucky can-do attitude that makes me love her more. She will be spoiled–especially since she comes when called.
The b’hoys, Luke Cafferty, Matt Saracen and Tim Riggins cry out. They’re starved, they say.
What’s that bumping up against my leg? You ducks! Wanting to bully the goats for their food–and you’ll win, won’t you! One day I’ll make the ducks behave–not. Every day is different in the country but ducks never behave.
Chicken love. I never imagined such a thing, but every so often a chicken picks you to adore. How lovely it is each day to be greeted at the chicken house by an enthusiastic hen! When my chicken love, Gluck-Gluck sickened and died this week after 4 years of true friendship I felt a mix of relief and sadness. She suffered. There was little I could do but hold her in a warm towel after soaks and meds.
Such is life with animals, but if you’re lucky friendship shines on you again and so it is here at Middlemay. While mourning the loss of Gluck-Gluck I couldn’t help smile at Clarissa (Claire) a new Dominique chick with crippled feet waiting to be loved. Most of our new chicks don’t mind me, but they don’t love me. Claire pushes her way through the crowd like a tough running back to jump into my hands whenever I’m around. She sits and coos and snuggles.
No one friend can replace another but isn’t it nice to be alive with the hope of new friendship?