Chickens Prove I’m not Always Smart or My Own Stupidity

I discovered that my chickens are smarter than I am. That does not bode well with me. I have college and graduate school degrees. I speak 2.75 languages (meaning besides the two languages in which I am fluent, I speak enough French and Spanish to order a glass of mineral water in a small, uncrowded European cafe). I know how to color coordinate clothes.  And I am capable of realizing that I should feel full after eating three slices of lemon meringue pie. But still, my chickens are smarter than I am.

I feed them every morning. I give them water. All I expect in return, are a few eggs now and then. They’ve been fairly cooperative. But one hen, Coco, feeling rather broody, gathered sixteen eggs beneath her bottom when I turned away for a few moments. Then another hen, Ethel, climbed into an adjacent nesting box in a concerted attempt to monopolize all eggs.

Although their nesting boxes are separated by a two inch high wall, these hens managed to drive me crazy with their silly chicken games. One morning, I’d arrive to find Coco with ten eggs beneath her and Ethel with six; the next day, Coco sat on two with eight under Ethel and so on. When I dared reprimand them, they gave me the evil eye, throwing me looks that said,

“Don’t even think of touching these eggs or you’ll be at the bottom of our pecking order.”

Idle threats.

After two weeks of this nonsense (or hensense, in this case), I announced to my family that I planned on collecting all coop eggs and tossing them. These hens’ behavior was not conducive to hatching chicks. They’re idiot hens, I said.

“Doesn’t it take three weeks to hatch a chicken egg?” Son #2 reminded me. “Can’t you just give them another week?”

I caved in, knowing full well that there’d be no chicks. The same thing happened last year.

Early one chilly morning, as trooper and family feeder, I stumbled out to the chicken area for the feeding. As usual, I peeked inside the coop to exchange dirty looks with the hens, but they ignored me. Instead a tiny gray head, no bigger than my thumbnail, stared back, covering me with a thin film of guilt.  A beautiful little chick. I thought I knew.

I rarely periodically jump to conclusions about people and situations. It is the habit that’s hardest for me to break.  You’d think I’d know by now that thoughts should be weighed carefully before being expressed, with wisdom and understanding. Giving careful consideration to our thoughts prevents us from acting like or even becoming stupers (short, as most of you know, for unjustifiably stupid persons).



4 Responses to “Chickens Prove I’m not Always Smart or My Own Stupidity”

  1. Sarah says:

    You were outsmarted by a chicken? I find that hard to believe! Maybe because it was a pair of hens? You know what they say about 2 heads! Anyway, thanks for the reminder to take the time to consider our thoughts before reaching any conclusions.

  2. Ferd says:

    Isn’t that the truth!
    Jumping to conclusions, rash judgements, preconceived notions, are a human problem that stupers take to the limit. But I do think it is human to think in this way to some degree. As we grow, we learn how things work. Then we use that knowledge to make predictions in similar situations. The problem is that there are always exceptions to the rule. Things don’t always go according to our predictions. That is precisely where our intelligence should kick in.
    Nice reminder, Keli!

  3. Suzie says:

    Keli, I live in a little ranch; I have 2 chickens.
    I feed them twice a day. They are happy & free. Like yours, mine are freeloaders. They don’t participate. Every day I talk to them and let them know that I give them food & water, so they should give me eggs as rent for occupying part of my yard and destroying my flowerbeds. I guess they are just like some people (stupers).

  4. omawarisan says:

    It’s a symptom of being right far too often. Almost disturbing when you’re not.

    Met a woman recently who I’d already decided I didn’t like. I was completely wrong. Couldn’t have been more pleasant if she gave me lemon meringue pie. It messed with me for days.

    On second thought, the pie wouldn’t have hurt things.

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