Thursday, February 26, 2009

Black Sheep

All her life, your blogger has felt like the Black Sheep of her family. No one else loved animals the way I did, and wanted to bring home everything that barked, mewed, grunted, squawked, etc.. Like every other kid in the 50's, one Easter we were given baby chicks, and they lived in a little place my dad set up for them in the basement. I went down to sit with them every day, talking to them and watching them, and within me was born a love of poultry that lasts to this day. I have often said that I would like nothing more from retirement than to sit and watch my chickens, and see what beautiful combinations we come up with through breeding. Finally, our Easter chicks grew large enough that they started taking off and landing on my mother as she did the wash, and at that point, I knew they were history. Indeed, my dad gave them to someone at his job, who probably ate them, but I was never told that. I would like to think they were pullets who lived to a ripe old age, laying eggs for their owner every day.

I have been privileged and lucky enough to meet some people along the way who shared my love of animals, and even now, have several friends who "get it" and understand when I am soppy about my pugs, or worried about a bird or the little mare. I was blessed late in life to marry someone who fell into loving our pets (despite the sometimes drudgery) and who enjoys being around and with them. I think we are the better for our love of animals, I know we treat people better for it. Sometimes when I am adding up those feed store charges or the bills from the vet I wonder at my sanity, but while we can afford it, we will take good care of our charges. Tomorrow the vet comes yet again to check the little mare Lacey, as we are now hearing an ominous click from her left hind hoof, and she cannot bear to have it handled, though it is not hot. We are worried something terrible has happened, and though the ground has been softer this week, tonight it is freezing again, and we know she will be on eggshells in the morning. We buted her in anticipation.

Lilly the Mole Killer has dug up the yard in her quest to remove the Mole Cong. I will have to go behind her to fill in holes, lest I turn an ankle in one, or worse yet, the horses do. Soon their time of wandering will be over, as the green grass can hurt them, but there are still a few days when they can (or rather, Beau the pony can) come out and eat.

Our bird feeders are being emptied almost daily now, and I must remember to put suet out in the morning. The woodpeckers and other suet-eaters are going at it constantly now that nature's bounty has been used up. At least we have not had to carry as much water this week while we are all getting over the Crud that layed us low.

One more day until the weekend! And two weeks until the big poultry auction, where I hope to find four more hens for my project!

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