You’re naming the chickens? You don’t name chickens! Never name chickens! This enlightening stream of consciousness came from Steve with a twinkle in his eyes and a belly laugh that I live for. Usually I elicit a small grin and a chuckle so when I get a belly laugh, I feel like I won the lottery. There’s nothing better.
The kids were ten and six years old when we bought our little piece of dirt and settled in. Steve and the kids were country born and this city girl was excited to become countryfied herself. Steve didn’t elaborate as to why I shouldn’t name the chickens, he was still chuckling at the thought. The only other comment he made had something to do with Green Acres. Of course, I didn’t bring up the time he named a ladybug George after George Strait. I’m not like that. Well, maybe I didn’t think of it at the time.
Of course I named them. I’d name the spiders that venture into our home if they stuck around long enough. Instead, I usher them outside before their existence is taken to a new level.
Martha was my favorite. She was almost white, plump and reminded me of Martha Washington. Why? I don’t remember, she just did. The kids and I went out to visit Martha and the gang several times a day, hoping to find eggs. You’d think it was Easter and we were on a hunt. Oh, I was loving country living with Steve and the kids.
One day we went out to find Martha floating in the water trough. While we were busy screaming, Steve ran over and fished her out. We all thought she was a goner, but she came to and lived to peck another day or two. You see, Martha kept ending up in the water trough and Steve kept fishing her out.
Steve found Martha floating again late one afternoon but that time, there was no reprieve. The kids were sad and I cried. I cried hard even. Steve took her out and set her down in the pasture. That’s when it happened. Kendra, who was ten at the time, took one look and yelled, Figuero! Here kitty, kitty, kitty! Chicken for dinner tonight!
In spite of myself, I laughed. I laughed hard. I started thinking of the Lion King as the song “The Circle of Life” ran through my head. Somebody stop me! My tears dried and my sadness was replaced by feelings of love and like for a special little girl.
Did Figuero have chicken for dinner that day? Nope, I can’t say that she did. I think Martha went to rest in the walnut orchard, but I’m not sure. That was, and is still, Steve’s job. Kendra kept a lone white feather, Cody kept playing with his friends and Steve and I keep the memories of that day.
Kendra Ann, our little Princess Peanut, found the good that’s always there, somewhere.
But the sun rolling high – Through the sapphire sky – Keeps great and small on the endless round. (Music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice – Circle of Life)