We raise chickens because we like fresh, organic eggs, offered the way God designed them to be. For those who have yet to experience an egg in it’s “natural environment,” I hate to be the bearer of bad news . . .but it won’t be the first time! The bleached white, uniform eggs most of you buy in the store that are enriched and cleansed with who knows what bear little resemblance, inside and out, to the ones we collect every day. Our eggs are all different in size, shape and shade, from deep rich golden brown to a very light cocoa color. And when you break one open, the yoke is so yellow it almost glows (signifying it’s full of protein)! It’s always fun peering into a nest to see what might be there. Kids who visit us love the unique experience of “picking up the eggs.”
But raising chickens has never been easy because they are sweet and harmless but dumb as a stump. (Pause to ask forgiveness for thoughts you just had about a human being you know.) Every living thing seems to like chicken! Thus, they have “easy prey” written all over them. This is a dilemma for those of us who would like to keep them alive and productive. After all, sheep have shepherds to guard and guide but chickens have no one. Nor would they tolerate any attempts to relate to them that way.
Which brings me to the dogs next door, Jake and Rainbow. They are very sweet dogs but they have recently discovered a love for chickens . . .our chickens. This is definitely not the same affection that our own dogs have for their own flock . . .this is the more aggressive kind! And you can’t blame them, they are doing what dogs do instinctively.
Jake came to visit yesterday–calling on the chickens–one young one in particular. He decided he liked it so much he would take the trophy home, the chick still alive and squacking loudly. My dogs alerted me to the ruckus and I arrived at the window in time to see Jake proudly heading home with his catch.
As I headed next door with a hoe (stopped by the barn to get a broom but the hoe was nearer the door) to alert our sweet neighbor and try to rescue the scared chick before it became “dog sushi,” I thought how funny it was to find myself–all city girl–in this situation.
The chicken got away from the dog somehow and was now in deep hiding. Linda and I worked together to try to coax it out from under trees, bushes and cars but the crazy chick didn’t accept the help we offered. She just ran (excuse the pun) like a chicken with its head cut off from one clump of cover to another.
As I write now that freaked out chicken is still living in the yard of her perpetrator’s home, driving Jake and Rainbow crazy. Steve and I will try again to retrieve her later, after we all calm down a bit.
But I was thinking . . . how often am I just like that vulnerable little thing? Easy prey to those who would take advantage of me; foraging outside of the protection that is so readily available? Choosing to live in the very environment that is so threatening to me? I AM a chicken who always needs to be rescued from the jaws of danger; a sheep whose own antics often separate it from the flock requiring the Shepherd to come to her aid.
And HE ALWAYS DOES . . .I’m alive forevermore to prove it!
I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock.
Set High Upon A Rock,