A time to remember and to try again…
For some time, Stu and I have been talking about how we can expand our simple and sustainable lifestyle…
I’m talking chickens and bees.
He doesn’t like flapping, pecking things and I don’t like buzzing, stinging things.
So the chooks are mine and the bees are his and we’ve been reading up about both for a while.
This week, I launched the chicken effort with the purchase of a coop, a feeder and a waterer.
Of course, this involved a whole new vocabulary. I’ve leaned that a coop is a ‘pollaio’, a feeder is a ‘mangiatoia’ and a waterer a ‘beveratoia’! I’ve also engaged in an online discussion in Italian about pests and products to ensure the health of my chooks.
I am very excited but also very nervous.
I was about 12 years old when I last had anything to do with chooks and then under the expert guidance of my parents. They taught me useful things like how to shoo them away from the back door and how to hypnotise them!
However, there were also days full of wonder and joy. Our chooks used to follow us around the backyard and sit on our laps and we used to spend hours watching our mother hen look after her chickens.
My sisters and I will never forget the time that Dad decided to hatch some fertilised eggs in a frypan in the kitchen. He filled the frypan with sand, laid 5 or 6 fertilised eggs gently on the sand and told us each to choose an egg. That egg was to become our own personal chicken.
I didn’t know it then but now I realize that this would be the single most enlightening lesson on the wonder of life that I would ever experience.
We watched our eggs carefully for weeks and all went well until a babysitter turned the temperature up and almost cooked them. There were tears of tragedy until Dad declared that no damage had been done.
When the time neared for them to hatch, we would bound home from school to peek into the frypan eager to welcome our babies.
One evening, my chosen egg released a beautiful brown bantam that flopped around and gazed up at me with such luminous eyes that I immediately called her “Brighty” and me “Mother”.
If I can have anywhere near the joy of my childhood with my new little collection of flapping, pecking things I’ll be happy…