Today I went outside to decompress. I penned up the dog and let the chickens out to free range. Have I mentioned that it is not a wise idea to name the chickens? It is a downright stupid idea to name the chickens. So I didn't name the chickens. Although I feel the need to call them something at times. And they do entertain me.
I have two small and useless grow boxes at the side of my house. This is where I found Mama Hen. That's not her name, of course. Just a reference point. She's tame and lets me get close to her, even allowing me to pick her up most of the time. I watched in fascination as she scratched and pecked. It amazed me how she was able to discern food from dirt and how easily she picked out a worm and slurped it right down the gullet. She mostly ignored me and everybody else as she was feasting on what would be tomorrow's egg production.
Eventually, I became aware of a cooing sound getting closer and closer to my ear. Mama Hen is tame but Little Red Hen (again, not a name, just a designation) is downright social. She was easing her way closer and closer to me, trying to gain my attention. I realized this was her goal when she lightly pecked my cheek. "Oh. Hello, Little Red Hen!" I said to her, using slow movements so as not to startle her. She cocked her head and continued to talk to me. She then walked right on top of my fingers and around to the back of me where she pecked at my toes and bum. It made me giggle like a little girl.
When Scott came out to allow the dog to see that she was not being replaced, I sat in the middle of the grass and called to my hen. Scott witnessed the hen separating herself from her flock, walking up to me, cocking her head and letting out a cross between a cluck and a coo. She then gave my fingers a love tap and returned to the other ladies who were scratching and pecking, slurping up disgusting bugs, worms, and I pray they found the slugs.
Later, I herded the ladies back to their coop and run, talking to them all the way, chiding the one that defied me and continued into my tomatoes (bad) and praising the ladies that went easily into the coop. As I secured the latch behind the last chicken, I realized that I have reached heights that go beyond quirky. Yes, I talk to my plants and sometimes sing to them. It's true that when I clean out the spice rack that I examine each one and ask them, "Now where do you live?" But now I am turning at least one of my chickens into a pet. I let her walk all over me, pull at my hair, peck at my fingers and bum.
You can talk to your cat. You can talk to your dog. You can sing to your tomato plants. It's normal albeit approaching quirky. But I am The Chicken Lady. I am the lady that does not name her chickens but gives them designations (maybe I am naming them) and letting them walk all over me. Did I mention they pull my hair? I get down in the dirt to watch them pull out the worms in the soil. That's just plain weird, people. I clap with glee when Mama Hen slurps up a particularly big and juicy one.
I am woman. Hear me cluck.