Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Friends and Family

My two black hens sleep side by side every night. Call me crazy, but at this point I can only guess (we didn’t raise them) that they grew up together and are either related or maybe best friends. A year ago you would not have been able to convince me that chickens formed any sort of relationship ties, but no longer. I watch them every night. It makes me happy.

It’s really not that strange I suppose. I don’t question Handy and T-Bone, our two carriage horses, standing at the gate, side by side every morning, staring at the house, willing me to walk out with a cup of coffee to throw them some hay and grain. They spend the rest of their day together - grazing, sleeping, playing and back up to wait at the gate for their evening meal. Brushy, the peach colored cat, brought us Claire-Bear. “She followed me home. Can I keep her? Pleeease?” They are inseparable. Jester, one of our first Jacob sheep, partnered up with Emily soon after we brought her home. Now, several years later he’s become Uncle Jester, permanently adopting each of Emily’s, and only Emily’s, lambs.

But what about everyone else? Is Aria lonely or is she just glad Handy and T-Bone (a.k.a. The Ass Brothers) mostly leave her alone? Do the other chickens care that they don’t have an assigned seat on the roost at night? What about Eli? On very rare occasions we catch him sleeping with Brushy and Claire-Bear, but for the most part he’s an army of one. What happens if one of the solitary sheep notices a strange dog trying to break into their field?

Buddies or not, they all gather together in a circle with their butts to the middle and try to stand their ground.

Good night my friends and family. Take care of each other.

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