Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

the mind of a chicken

Ah…the sun is up and I’m ready to set forth and forage the yard, but alas, my pen is still closed. I must wait for my release.

I stand perched at the window, rustling my shiny black feathers trying to draw attention to myself…it doesn’t work.

My head tips to the side all of it’s own accord as I hear the door to the house creak open. I look, and squawk as I see him. “It’s the man!” I cry out to the others. “The man who feeds us sometimes!” I wonder if he’ll feed us this morning. I don’t remember when we were fed last…seems like ages.

“Here he comes,” I squawk. “Look natural,” I tell the others.

The man lifts our pen, then releases the juveniles and we race across the yard to the feeder.

Nothing. He’s left us nothing this morning. We’ll have to wait for the bread lady to awaken.

Hours go by. So many hours we can’t even count them. The sun is high and the water is getting low, so we flock to the back door and draw attention to the giant dog. He’ll plead our case to the bread lady, and she’ll bring us fresh water and treats. She’s a push over. Not like the man who feeds us sometimes. He sticks to his miserable schedule.

We don’t think he loves us.

Ah, pecking at the glass and taunting the giant dog has worked. His barks have woken the house and the bread lady has stumbled from her coop and is heading our way. Her hair stands on end and she looks like one of us. We like her.

The foolish juveniles flock to her in a rush as she steps outside. I peck at them to warn them. “If you trip her, we get nothing!” But they don’t listen. Especially the young rooster. He seems hell bent on our mutual destruction. I chase him until he runs and the dog gives chase. Foolish child!

The rest of us race to the fresh water and drink before the children can take it all.

The bread lady vanishes for what seems like days before coming back to toss sweet treats to the yard.

We love her…even if she does steal our eggs every day.

More time passes. We are forced to hunt for food…pecking the earth for bugs and grasses. I send the juveniles to take turns pecking at the glass. Surely someone will throw treats if we do. The little rooster pushes his way into the house and causes a well-timed ruckus…this gives us a chance to slip in and eat the crumbs under the table. Stupid rooster has no clue he’s been played again…and he’s off running as the dog chases him out of the house.

Finally the people come outside. I hear the bread lady tell the man who feeds us sometimes that they’re going to the bread store.

The bread store?

I call to the rest of the flock and we give chase, running circles around their feet on our path to the car. If anyone is going to the bread store, we’re going too!

We’re not going. They shoo us off and drive away without us. And we wait by the door until they return.

With new bread!

Once we’ve had our bread, and our evening meal, we spend the day eating more bugs and grasses, evading the giant dog as he trails us around yard and hiding from the giant hawk that circles above us. Life is dangerous on the farm.

Finally, as night begins to fall, we wander into our coops to perch for the night. We can’t complain. We have it pretty good…even if we do have to live on bugs.

Until the next time…I’ll be waking with the chickens!

 

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