although I think these ladies deserve one post, as I eat my soft boiled egg this morning.
A long-standing project came to fruition ten days ago when youngest daughter and I headed to the local mart, cardboard box in the back of the car, to purchase four laying hens. The hen man was there, talk pouring out of him, successfully competing with roars of indignant cattle from the big sheds. We selected two White Stars, daughter’s choice, laying now and two Daisy Belles, my favourites, ready to lay in six weeks.
And home they have come. Rosie came up to stand and gaze as the hens explored their new surroundings. We have put them first in the front section of the paddock which needs a good pecking and fertilizing. They have a sweet little house into which they march at dusk. I enjoy this. I am fascinated by how they decide just which point of duskness is tucking in time. I am up early to feed Ben and Rosie so it falls to me to let them out. I am never early enough and their indignant clucking from inside and the way they burst through the small opening is a reproach to my human self, with its love of staying tucked up past dawn.
Last night, youngest daughter (who loves these hens) had not collected the eggs so when I went out in the dark to shut the hen house I opened up the back and reached in to the two nesting boxes. Three hens sitting there clucked softly and I touched their warm bellies feeling soft, soft feathers as I found the eggs. The eggs were warm in my cupped hands and I returned to the house holding this gift, of eggs and of gentle presence.