I’m not so sure I have found a spiritual guide but I sure have found over time that interesting conversations can come about in strange ways. I suppose there is something to be learned from most continuing conversations no matter with whom or it.
We have 5 laying hens, three of them are pretty close to the max laying age, they were the original hens. One is a barred rock and two are araucana. The barred rock we call Henny Penny. Neither Freeacre nor myself are able to easily think about eliminating her when she stops laying her egg-a-day, which we expect to be the case at the end of the summer when she begins to molt. The reason? Conversations. Now we all know that birds are not known for big well developed brains, thus the term bird brain. However, whenever I wish, I can go out to the back yard, sit down on something, and Henny Penny comes over and we talk. Freeacre says I am becoming an expert at chicken talk. I’m not so sure of the expert label, but I have never had that hen end the conversation and walk away. I’m always the one who decides it is enough, usually within an hour anyway.
Now I am not going to claim any big revelations or spiritual counsels, but we do seem to reach some kind of agreement. She is the only chicken that will allow me to pick her up. I’ve had these kinds of relationships with other animals over my life. Horses, dogs, cats, doves, turtles, even snakes. Not sure what conclusions a stranger not familiar with these kinds of relationships is going to come up with. Other people on this site have talked about having these relationships,
I’m not going to relate the verbiage in my conversations, although I have considered recording them for posterity. Both Freeacre and I can watch the chickens going about being chickens for hours at a time, almost hypnotized by them. Interesting social structure and interactions. No wonder we don’t get much done around here and feel like we are constantly behind on all projects. Sigh. We are being chicken hypnotized. I have on several occasions attempted to transfer my fascination with HP to another animal, for which HP scolds me soundly.
Now why do I bring up a subject like this on this site for heavens sake? Well, one of my contentions is that our modern society, actually western civilization, has alienated us from the other life forms that we share this planet with. In the case of domesticated animals, I have always tended to allow them to be their best and to be what they want or are naturally. Most of the time we reach agreements on how we are going to live with each other. Pretty much worked as far as I was concerned with few exceptions. Same with people isn’t it?
But, what I see going on around me is very little acceptance of other life forms, or an attempt to push the life form into some kind of conformity that is usually not very healthy for either, very much a power trip on the part of the human side of the arrangement, although I have seen it go the other way too, where the other life form takes over the relationship. In several cases I think that it was probably best for the other life form to take over, some people seem to have trouble running their lives and while it’s a bad job, somebody needs to do it.
Over time and with some observations, you begin to notice some really interesting personalities. With HP it means that if we leave the back door open and turn our backs for a heartbeat, she is through the door and into the kitchen. Loves the dog food. Strangely, she has yet to poop on the floor. Our dog has taken up TV. Will sit with us and watch movies and TV stuff, although she has shown little interest in political talking heads. Loves the nature shows and cowboy movies. She seemed to get off on The Matrix also which was kind of surprising. Even animated movies she gets interested in. Every time we bring some baby chicks into the house to raise, she will sit and stare at them for hours at a time. If we give her a chance, she will pick one out of the box and lick it till it is a soggy mess and scared out of its chick mind. However, she also will not eat anything with chicken meat in it. Interesting.
Freeacre is more into the plant world. Remember how
While I recognize that most people in my life will view this essay with quiet tolerance and amusement, I maintain that making the effort to get attuned to the other parts of our environment than just the human side is important. It is all interrelated and I think important. Besides, it makes for lots of amusing anecdotes to lay out for people to snicker at.
An old time 90 year old farmer I knew back in