I can’t sleep. I keep waking and wondering where I am.
Then I remember.
I can’t tell if it’s morning or night or what.
I miss the garden.
The entire back garden is ours. Americana humans call it a yard but Christopher is British variety and calls it a garden so that’s what I call it.
Christopher is my favorite human.
He speaks gently, paints big beautiful pictures, and has a bright shiny head. I like watching him through the back door.
Sometimes I peck on the window to get his attention and he rewards me with bread crust. And sometimes he sits on the steps with a cup of tea and lets me perch on his arm.
That’s my very favorite thing of all.
Ten paces from the back porch is a magical wonder called the compost bin.
In it, humans toss orange peels, potato peels, carrot peels, onion skins, banana skins, pear cores, apple corps, lemon slices, watermelon rinds, nectarine pits, plum pits, coffee grounds, rotten veggies, egg shells, leftovers, and the occasional used tea bag.
It gets really, really stinky in there.
Especially in summer.
The sun rots that stuff into a hot sludgy mess, attracting flies who hang out and lay eggs. Have you ever seen fly eggs? They look like tiny piles of white rice.
But not for long.
(Here’s where the magic happens!)
24 hours later, those piles turn into maggots.
Which means that everyday —every day!– that
pulsates with fresh wiggly maggots.
I feel you judging over there, human person. But please stop.
Maggots are A+ prime gourmet dining and positively delectable. (That’s hard to pronounce with an injured beak, by the way, positively delectable.) Sometimes I don’t chomp hard enough and feel them wiggling down my throat. Being boss lady chicken means I eat first, and the others climb in only after I’m full.
Lucky for them I’m nice and there’s plenty.
We also get leftovers. My favorite is rice.
And milk. I LOVE milk.
Oh, and noodles.
I love noodles, too.
We spend our days eating, digging, scratching, laying, pulling worms, taking dirt baths, and clucking at the sun. When the sky fades purply blue we hop to our roost and huddle together for sleep, safe behind a locked gate.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because I know my humans love me.
I know they didn’t mean to cause me harm.
have you checked the chickens yet?
My humans didn’t lock us up that night.
They spent the night out —something about not wanting to drink and drive. I’m not sure what that means. But our gate was left wide open and they weren’t here when I got attacked. It’s lucky I screamed so loud.
Jennifer woke up to a scary text.
I’m grateful for that neighbor lady.
Now you know chickens get saved by the light, too.
My humans rushed home expecting the worst.
About clucking time.
I watched them from my hiding spot, feeling mad.
They stepped around torn feathers and broken eggs, calling my name with worried voices.
Jennifer bit her nails.
I stayed behind a woodpile. Hurt, mad, scared, and embarrassed. I didn’t want them to see me like this. The other girls were already treating me different —even my sister.
Like they didn’t even know me.
And maybe I felt a little unsafe.
So I hid.
This part makes me sad.
If you don’t mind, I’ll tell you the rest later.
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