December 5, 2014 – True to her word, Dr. Feather Locklear made an appearance at the Cluck, Cluck, Doo! chicken yard, promptly at two. After a brief introduction, she gathered us into the garage – (otherwise known as the chicken clubhouse) where we were instructed to unroll before us a rubber yoga mat.
“Some of you may already practice yoga on a regular basis, but today we are simply using the mats to provide comfort and traction while I bring you through a guided meditation. Now then… is everyone comfortable in the place they have chosen?”
We nodded without taking our eyes off of the charismatic instructor. Wilma didn’t want to be too close to the front, in case Dr. Locklear might put her on the spot and ask her to perform some sort of hokey move. So instead, the elder hen sought out a spot smack dab in the middle of the pack.
“Now then,” the doctor began. “Close your eyes. Feel a wave of drowsiness wash upon your body. Your eyelids are heavy; so heavy that you could not open them if you tried.”
Immediately, we opened our eyes and looked around at one another, laughing. Dr. Locklear cleared her throat in a disapproving gesture and we dutifully closed our lids once more.
“Feel a sense of weightiness travel through your being. You can no longer lift your wings. Let them drop comfortably to your side. Your breathing is deep and effortless. Take a cleansing breath through your nose and out your beak.”
I could hear Peaches whisper beside me that she wasn’t sure she had a nose. I struggled to maintain clarity.
“As I count back from 10… to 5… to one… your mind’s eye will easily travel to a glorious garden bursting in color. Picture yourself pecking under a shrub for grubs. Notice the butterfly that flits about above your head. Feel the warmth of a brilliant sun as a pleasant breeze caresses your face. Mealworms and earthworms galore plop at your feet in enthusiastic surrender. Listen to the water from a marble fountain spill playfully over river rocks nearby. You drink and feel refreshed but then notice how drowsy you are becoming. You are very tired. You see a bush not far from where you are and walk toward it, eager to seek refuge under the shade of its low lying branches. With little exertion you dig a dirt hole and settle in, hidden from the world but still able to see the grandeur of the landscape around you. You breath deeply. Then again. What do you smell?”
I for one, smelled Tim’s feet. He was sitting in front of me. They smelled like moldy cheese. I didn’t say anything, because I don’t think Dr. Locklear was expecting an actual answer. Then Wilma’s voice rang out loud and clear.
“I smell that dag-blasted smelly bush! It stinks to high heaven! I can’t sleep under the smelly bush! I need to find a different spot. Wait! I see a couple of knuckleheads in the dirt hole under the forsythia. GET OUT OF MY WAY, YOU NINCOMPOOPS! FIND ANOTHER SPOT!”
That was it! I HAD to open my eyes. When I did, I saw that Wilma still had hers firmly shut, but she was swaying back and forth, clearly agitated. Dr. Locklear’s eyes were open. She was staring at Wilma, dumfounded! Her beak had dropped open in disbelief. Slowly, every other hen and Tim, opened their eyes, too, and turned to watch Wilma.
After an uncomfortable silence, Dr. Locklear regained her professionalism and finished the meditation, which for the rest of us, was a train already disembarking at the station.
“Perhaps you see a more appealing spot in which to rest, but that location is already occupied. Let it go. Wish the other dirt dwellers a restful stay and position yourself where you are until every bone, every fiber of your being is fully and deeply at rest. Allow yourself to drift into a profound and soothing sleep.”
A second later, Wilma began to snore. Then she tooted. Then she snored some more. It was very difficult not to laugh. Dr. Locklear let this continue for a few moments before beginning the process of guiding Wilma back to the real world.
“Now. As I count back from 10 to one, you will shed the coils of slumber and… with each number, become more aware of your surroundings, feeling utterly and completely, rested and at peace. 10…9….8….7…6…5…4…3…2…1.”
She snapped her wings and Wilma opened her eyes. She turned her head and checked out what the rest of the class was doing. Then she leaned over and said to me, “I can’t see this working. It’s nearly impossible for me to lose control. I’m royalty, after all. We should just pay this clown and call it a day. I could use a nap. And a sandwich. But first a nap,” she said yawning.
Dr. Locklear declared the guided meditation complete. We stayed behind to roll up the yoga mats and offer Dr. Feather a beverage and a slice of banana bread. Wilma decided to head straight to Coop #3 where she slept the afternoon away. She arose later in the afternoon, well rested and jovial.
I think we may be on to something.