Two Kindred Spirits

Perhaps, for a time, our journeys will coincide, and our two kindred spirits will become as one...

Location: Maunawili Valley, O'ahu, Hawai'i, United States

Monday, June 20, 2011

Queen of the Flock

This is my three-year-old Silver Laced Wyandot I named Lacy. It fit her personality, and that is what this blog is about~Lacy's personality.

Lacy was one of the original five one-day-old chicks I had ordered from the feed store three years ago. After research, visitations, and speaking with local farmers, I felt as ready as I could possibly be to start my own flock of egg-layers.

So ready, in fact, that initially I had ordered FIFTEEN chicks. Seriously. The Chicken Gods were apparently there to save me from myself when the ten black Sexlinks were backordered. I still felt like a first time mom bringing home that first brood of five. There were two Rhode Island Reds, two butterscotch-colored Buff Comets, and Lacy.

At first, they all looked like fuzzy golf balls teetering on their skinny tee-shaped legs. As my little flock began to grow I was amazed at how much individuality and personality each chick had. And from the very start, Lacy was regarded by all within the flock as its queen. No discussion, no voting. Lacy was simply born regal. Go figure. A regal chicken. So let me explain.

Chickens do flock together. They follow one another around, seemingly in mindless wanderings. If one squawks, the others scurry over. It doesn't do much for their public relations' image. And the definition of uncool has a picture of a running chicken. In fact, clumsy and comical come to mind. Not cool.

From the very beginning though, Lacy's never flocked, or followed the crowd, or has ever "looked uncool". She exudes a calmness, head held high, in the manner of the beauty contestant who walks as if she's already won the crown, as though the yard belonged to her, and it was her duty to check it out. She wears her striking beauty in Princess Grace fashion, and is the mediator for the petty squabbles that break out within the flock.

Over the past three years the flock has steadily increased to sixteen. (One of the two Rhode Island Reds in Lacy's brood turned out to be a rooster, which is a blog for another day.) Some of the flock approach me to be picked up and cuddled. Many run the other way. Lacy has done neither. She has always maintained a sense of decorum and dignity.

I've written this blog to memorialize Lacy because I just lost her recently to a sudden bacterial infection. By the time I realized she wasn't feeling well, the infection took her. I found her in the morning with her beak gently resting against the wall, so that even in death, her head was held high, her eyes closed in gentle repose.

I stood there in the coop, stunned, and sobbed like a young child. A deep, aching, wrenching of breath from my body. I admired this old soul. Lacy made me want to be a better human. She was not driven through life by guile or fear. What set her apart was her clarity, her gentle nature, and her strong sense of self. I have much to learn from Lacy, but I think I can say we shared a mutual respect, and spent a moment in time as two kindred spirits.