To anyone who is even remotely familiar with my blog, you know that I write about the lessons learned living with children and chickens in New Hampshire. I have long maintained that if you are quiet enough, these chickens can teach you what it is that you need to be taught.
We have one little hen, a frizzle on which we just can’t seem to keep feathers. Ms. Frizzle (from the Magic School Bus series) always has a bare back and ragged sides. She is the one that draws the most comments from visitors. “What’s wrong with that one?” They’ll say as they point their fingers out at her.
At first we thought she couldn’t keep feathers because of being constantly pecked by the others but to tell you the truth, I don’t think she is pecked. I’ve never seen it happen in all my time with the flock. We’ve checked for mites, lice, and I’ve even monitored her poop to see if she has worms, parasites, or an infection. Everything seems to be fine. Apparently the answer is that Ms. Frizzle doesn’t keep feathers because that’s just the way she is.
We got her with two of her sisters, one of which was lame. All three black Serama-mix birds would sit on the highest roost eerily peering down onto us causing more than one child to be a little dismayed, refusing to go in the coop if the three sisters were there. Eventually we referred to them as the three witches and realizing that they were not the most domesticated of our flock and a bit unsocial, left them alone to do their own thing.
Our frizzle’s normal appearance is looking as ragged as possible. She rarely has feathers and only gets a full coat for about two months of the year. Sort of an anti-molt.
And yet she persists, year after year. Even after we were sure that she wouldn’t make it through our New Hampshire freezing winters, Ms. Frizzle had made to our spring and then onward to our summers for four years now. A trooper Ms. Frizzle is – our frizzle, the tiny bird with a spirit far greater than her actual size.
And there you have it, the lesson our Ms. Frizzle has taught me – as a mama hen, sometimes it’s our job to look beyond the physical, beyond the disturbed or ungraceful, to always and forever cheer at the star quality of our amazing little chicks.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
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