May 4, 2014 – Today is International Respect for Chickens Day! We weren’t sure if Mom remembered the date, so we planned our own celebration just in case. We woke up at the crack of dawn. (Literally; that woman needs to get a better pair of pants. Dawn is on the early morning news show that we like to watch and every day at some point, she leans over to reach for her pointer and voila! That’s when Wilma declares, “Well, there’s the crack of dawn; time to get to work,” and our day begins.)
We formed a line behind the house, dressed in our most festive garb. Violet is feeling better, but not yet at full strength, so we took turns pulling her in the red wagon which we decorated in brightly colored ribbons and bows. Violet looked beautiful. I played my piccolo while the pullets hummed on kazoos. Bo and Tim crowed the length of the way from the chicken yard to the end of our road. The Orpington ladies had on their finest hats and strings of pearls. A suitable purse hung from the right wing of Charlotte and the left wing of Addie (as Addie is a southpaw). Peaches dazzled the neighborhood children who had come out to watch our festivities as she twirled a purple ribbon wand over her head. Wilma wore her tiara, as if we needed to be reminded of her status within the flock, while Sawyer, Waffles, Hattie and Betty sang a bright song about how chickens have been on earth since prehistoric times and we survived, meaning that chickens are smarter than dinosaurs and have creamier skin than a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It’s a catchy tune that is sure to linger in my head for days.
When we reached the end of our road, we turned around for a repeat performance before heading back to the chicken yard. This time, there were more observers along the parade route. A couple of the neighbors were dragging in their recycling buckets and trash barrels from Friday’s pickup and stopped to admire our celebration. A few even clapped and gave us a hearty “thumbs up”. Sawyer whispered to me that she wasn’t sure it was a thumb and perhaps we should have waited for a more respectable hour to be so loud, but I think they loved it!
We returned to the coops to decided how else to celebrate the day. Maisy and Kellie Pickler reached the big run first.
“Everyone, come quick!” they yelled. “You have got to see this!”
We turned the corner and were blown away. While we were parading, Mom had laid out a long table made from a piece of plywood set over two saw horses. Over this she threw a superb table covering made of old burlap seed bags. On it was a brilliant smorgasbord of everything chickens like to eat… blueberries, mealworms, apples, grapes, spaghetti, peanuts, lettuce balls, raspberry scones and a perfect pot of chamomile tea.
Hanging above the table was a homemade banner painted in blue that read: THANK YOU CHICKLETS! I LOVE YOU. MOM
I’m choked up even thinking about it.
Later in the day, we collected our own eggs. They were the finest assortment I have ever seen. We put them in a carton and laid them on the front steps with a yellow bow and a little note that simply said, WE LOVE YOU TOO.