The most interesting thing happens when I wear Mr. Right’s big, rubber, black, work boots. I feel somehow empowered. With his boots and oversized work gloves on, I feel like I can lift, tote and move just about anything. Luckily I don’t have to do that much. Adding a layer of straw to a chicken coop is not what you would call a lumberjack chore. It is actually rather fun. Breathing in the fresh air. The snow is gently falling on my face. I have a spirited morning conversation with the chickens while the dog does “dog angels” in the snow-covered lawn.
This morning the temperature was a bit nippy. The snow was falling and it had been chilly throughout the night. I went out early to give the chickens some greens and a snack of popcorn. After saying good morning to them and they had quite a bit to say. I had to bring the water inside to melt the ice and replenish with more. So after I gave them fresh water, some food, a snack and had a little morning conversation, I checked to see if they had anything for me.
An egg. One lovely, palest of pale green gift.
It is an interesting relationship. They are farm animals. I take care of their needs and they graciously give me eggs. I am grateful and I tell them so. I say thank you.
That simple act of being gracious to another living creature. It actually does more for the person saying it than the person (or animal) hearing it. I would love to share that chickens have really lovely manners and they are gracious and sweet. They are not. They step in front of me, they peck at my boots, they try and nab my bracelet, they leave “gifts” on my deck, they squawk when I am trying to talk, they walk away when I hang up a natural cookie I made just for them.
By saying thank you, it somehow lifts me to a higher level of being. Living graciously by expressing your gratitude is heartwarming. Yes, even saying thank you to chickens. Having good manners is about me and how I behave, all of the time. Even when no one is watching.
Instant gratification at its simplest form. I fluff and puff their coop. I give them food and water and herbs. I talk to them, they talk back. I take the egg they have laid.