December 3, 2014 – Today I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with the bantam pullets. What a gregarious sort, these young hens are. One by one they told me of their interests and plans for the future.
“I’d like to be an interpreter,” Grainne volunteered. “I hear that you, Sawyer and Peaches speak fluent Swan.”
“We took an online course and did well,” I replied.
“Can you teach me?” she inquired. “Francis promised to give me lessons in duck. I asked him if he spoke a form of Mandarin, but he explained that his dialect is simple barnyard.”
“I think between Sawyer, Peaches and I, we can teach you a phrase or two,” I laughed. “The biggest hurdle is nailing the trumpet call.”
“I want to play the trumpet!” Mavis declared, blowing the white crest from her eyes.
The conversation was quick and lively. We covered science, politics, religion and the arts. We talked about the potent potable beverage business, fortune telling via tea leaves, and cats. I was drained by the time the bantams took a break to inhale the apple slices Mom had dropped off. The only pullet that hadn’t joined the banter, was the littlest one, a lovely partridge silkie named, Layla.
“Layla,” I asked softly, “Is there any topic that you would like to talk about? Do you have a question that I could answer for you?”
I was surprised when she nodded yes. It took a second for her to gather her courage, but then she took a step closer and uttered, “Happy… what does yellow smell like?”
My heart melted when I looked into her warm, brown eyes. This little one is a genuine doll. How could I disappoint the youngster by telling her that I have no idea what yellow smells like? I thought for several seconds before giving her the best explanation I could muster.
“Sometimes yellow smells like bananas and pineapples or lemons freshly squeezed. Sometimes yellow smells like dandelions and roses, daffodils and buttercups. It smells like sunshine and soft rain, and quiet snow falling on a winter’s night when we’re tucked up safe and sound in our coops.
When I think of yellow, I smell Sawyer’s homemade breads and Tim’s elderberry cologne. I smell the earthy bark from Peaches’ pet stick and the sweet smell from the inside of Charlotte and Addie’s pocketbooks. And I’m sure it’s yellow that I smell after Violet has painted a magnificent landscape or when I listen in on Wilma singing a breathtaking aria. I smell yellow right now being with all of you.”
“So yellow smells like love?” Layla asked innocently.
“Yes, I suppose it does,” I answered.
I left the bantams’ henhouse a short time later. On the walk back to Coop #3, I was overwhelmed with yellow. The sky was gray and foggy, but inside my heart, the sun was glowing.