Wednesday, November 4, 2009
A Month of Giving Thanks...Lee and The Guinea chickens
I think that in all our lives, everything we are thankful for harks back to childhood. Yesterday I was thankful for collards, but after working all afternoon cleaning cooking and freezing turnip greens with root, I'd be hard pressed to be thankful for them! There is nothing quite so hard to clean as the turnip. Of course that is just my opinion. But still, when we thaw out that bag of turnips later on in the winter, I assure you that we will be most thankful for them, the misery of elbow deep water (and I use warmish water) a thing of (not so long) distant memory.
Our neighbors, Tara and Sam (I won't even attempt to spell their last name, suffice it to say Sam is from Greece) have a nice size little farm that sits adjacent to us. We get to share the beauty of their horses, the sweetness of the cattle, the raucousness of their geese and the neighborliness of their guinea chickens. You see, guineas are wild free spirits who spend their lives hiding their nests and foraging for food in all its forms. We buy dried corn to put out at the woodline for the deer. There's nothing more relaxing than sitting out on the back porch with a cat in your lap, watching the deer come up to eat. Our land is posted against hunters, so is Sam and Tara's. When the chickens first appeared in our yard, Mac went to the barn to get some corn. That started a trend. We've now graduated to chicken feed.
It was one day a couple of weeks ago when the Guineas first arrived. I felt such an overwhelming sense of peace at these lovely birds, and remembered Little Granny (Merriman) her apron filled with chicken feed, softly calling "chick chick chick" and throwing the feed out in a wide arc so that all would get something to eat. You learn quickly about a pecking order if you don't spread it out enough. Unlike human mothers, the young chicks will be pecked back to eggdom if they get in the way of the senior chickens beaks. Hence, pecking order. I don't know why it sends such a shiver of calm over me to see those chickens running toward us expectantly. Perhaps it fulfills the "mother earth" part of my nature. I did tell you I was a card carrying, tree protecting bunny hugger. You suspected though, right?
So, this morning when I was out feeding the cats, I expected to see the Guineas racing toward the porch in anticipation of a morning meal. They didn't come. I went back inside and Mac says, "why the face?" I explained that the chickens hadn't come for breakfast. I mean really, after three weeks of being our bestest friends forever and a no show now? I kept going back out and found myself clucking "chick chick chick" out behind the barns. So here I was, typing away about what I was feeling thankful for, about how those darned chickens had made each morning glad, and this morning , NO CHICKENS. Listen, I picked up the phone and actually called and left Tara a message...where are the chickens? I know, pitiable.
Lee popped up on I/M and asked about me and how our evening went , I told her about the hard work of cleaning and cooking the turnips Bill had blessed me with and suddenly I hear Mac yelling out "your chickens are here!" I can't believe how happy I felt. I hurriedly told Lee I had to run for a sec, the chickens were here. Now, here is how close our friendship has become. She understood completely. So, here on day 4 of giving thanks it's a dead heat. I'm thankful for my neighbors chickens who give me a sense of peace every morning. But mostly, I'm thankful for Lee. I have Evil Sister, Good Sister, and now I have Blogging Sister. Wow. I am really and truly blessed.