Have you ever seen a chicken run? It’s quite a sight to behold. Neck stretched long, body lumbering side to side, wings flapping madly, she races toward her object of desire. Spindly legs scurry as outstretched wings speed her along. There’s an intensity to chickens that borders on frightful. In this case the object of desire is me, or rather the scraps I bear from our table. I call out “Ladies, Scraps!” but I don’t need to. The chickens were already on their way when they heard the click of the kitchen door opening.
They come from different spots in the yard, racing each other to the food. The white one comes from the shed, shaking off a cloud of dust she’s been bathing in. The brown spotted hen is flapping from the east side of the garden, with a wary eye on the white one. Our largest and youngest black and white hen comes, cautiously hanging back just a bit, knowing her place in the pecking order.
Remember the ice cream man? Maybe he still visits your neighborhood. The thrill you felt when the tinkling music rounded the corner, the white truck nearing your street. Children emerged from nooks and crannies everywhere. Some heard the music and dashed from their houses, others ran from nearby streets or backyards, silver coins warm in sweaty summer palms. Orange Cream, Fudgesickle, Bomb Pops, the objects of our desire, a cool treat for a lazy summer day.
It really is the little things that cheer our days. It makes me happy to share a piece of this with these silly hens in our yard. I return to the house with a smile and empty container, satisfied by how easy it was to make those birds happy and safely return them to their coop at the end of the day. If everything were this easy, I think. Now, where is that almost teenage boy of mine?