Tuesday, March 27, 2007


When #2 son gifted us with the kitten in '03, he made fun of me for having to ask what gender the fluffy little present was. "Mom, I can't believe you don't know how to tell a male kitten from a female. It's a girl." And that's how our honkin' big tomcat acquired the name Purrle, which was stuck like glue by the time we discovered the last laugh was on #2 son.

When it was time to cull the roosters from the most recently acquired flock, our gender-ID-challenged family chose 4 keeper roosters [Wumbo, Scratch, Baron, and Midas] and raised the number of frozen birds to 68.

The next day, I was examining the ugly hen with green legs, poufy cheeks, and feathering which made her look like a white chicken badly in need of a bath. "Whew, that thing's ugly," I thought. "I can't believe we had to keep it." Bringing positive thoughts to assuage my lament, Cousin Annie (that little encourager) wrote, "Maybe your ugly, dirty-colored, tufted-cheeked, green-legged hen will turn out to be the best layer for you. She won't look so dreadful then!"

Okay. *sigh* So I gave her a nice, Biblical name -- Dorcas -- and hoped that would keep me out of trouble with my dear friend who wouldn't let me name our papillon Dumbo.

On the occasion of finding that first, long awaited, much anticipated egg yesterday, I stood outdoors with a heart swollen by chicken-joy and surveyed the foraging flock. Ah, this is great. Life is great. I love my chickens!

Right on cue, as if I'd passed the chicken-joy directly to the flock, DORCAS CROWED!

No! That didn't come from Dorcas!

Dorcas crowed again...and again, the third time even spreading HIS wings to punctuate the perfect Er-er-er-er-er, Er-er-er-er!

Dorcas has a quarter-inch comb and stubby wattle. Moreover, Dorcas didn't crow in December. He didn't crow in January or February, and he didn't crow in March...until yesterday, March 26th, two days after butchering day.

That pathetically ugly chicken is a HenNot! But he's a smart one. We've been out-foxed by a chicken.

[Of] all clean birds ye shall eat.
Deuteronomy 14:11

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