Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Animal Stories Pt. 1

Lately I've been bumming around the house when I'm not at my day job. If I'm not writing, I'm doing art, if I'm not doing art, I'm designing stuff, if I'm not designing stuff I'm reading about art, writing or design. Sometimes I'll do housework, garden, or go for a walk when I get stir crazy.

Anyway, my DH has been taking care of the animals for months now, with me picking up the odd day here or there. I do like having a vacation from it, but I miss my animals. I hardly see them except at a distance. It's good, though, because if I kept at it, he wouldn't have come in from outside with a subtle smile lighting his eyes. He turned around in place to display himself. "Any chicken poop on me?"

He had a dirty shoulder. That's about it. "Nope."

"I got the little black hen to sit on my shoulder. Had to shoe her down after a while. She eats out of my hand now too. Won't let the other chickens get near. And that rooster? He's a big chicken." He smiled and I laughed. "He starts to come closer, and she looks at him, and he moves away again." My DH made a coy gesture with his head. "Like, sorry, I'll go over here now."

"She's the big boss," I agreed. "Does Sophie still come down sometimes?" Sophie being our mean silver-laced Wyandotte.

"Oh yeah, every day at 3 o'clock she's there, and she won't let any of the other chickens into the shed until she'd done. Did you know that the little black hen can fly, like five feet higher than the roof of that shed? She did that when they had a chicken tiff."

"Wow." None of our other birds are capable of that kind of air. The best Beatrice can do is the top of the highest fence post, about six and a half feet. "I hope they all form one flock. It'll be good for them."

We talked more, mostly him sharing micro-stories about the animals, me listening. With me doing the grunt work day job and my DH freelancing, we've changed roles in a lot of surprising ways. This sharing of animal stories after he's had a day of working outside is fast becoming one of my favorites. From where I sit, it looks like he's loving it too, loving our farm and all the crazy critters on it. They're not outstanding or unusual animals, except in this: they know us. Now that they know him better, he and I share something new through them, a new connection in our lives after over twenty years together.

Thanks, little black hen.

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