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Shades of green and the chicken of doom

I find myself surrounded by online and offline discussions about chickens lately. That's a little terrifying for me, and I'd like to explain.

When I was a kid, growing up in the Chicago suburbs, my folks liked to send me and my brother to visit relatives who owned a farm and produce market in Columbus, Indiana. Ostensibly, it was to let us chew on a little hay and learn about the circle of pastoral life. In reality, I think they were just happy to be rid of us for a few weeks each summer while Uncle Bill and Aunt Shirley filled us up with as much corn on the cob, ribs and black-eyed peas as humanly possible. Except for the effect the grub had on my LDLs, that's not the terrifying part yet.

One day I was hanging out with some of the local teenagers who worked at the produce stand. They were teasing an old rooster named Mort who was strutting around. I had no experience with chickens, but didn't feel it was right to tease him. I tried to get them to stop. I must have been about 7 years old. They didn't stop, and Mort got mad. Ironically, he chose to vent his frustrations on me (probably because I was the smallest).  He started pecking after me, and I ran like the devil was on my tail. That rooster chased me around the farmhouse, and Aunt Shirley intervened by the time I'd looped the house once and ran screaming up to the front door. Aunt Shirley was not to be messed with. She told Mort to leave me alone, but not before he pecked on my knees and bloodied me up a bit. Needless to say, I was scarred both physically and mentally by the experience, young suburban girl that I was. It wasn't until I got to university that I learned the word "mort" means "death" in Latin.

So the whole idea of chickens is just beyond me. And apologies for this rambling post, but my point is it's ok if it's beyond you too. If you feel like switching to waxed baggies from plastic is about all you can handle right now, then more power to you -- that's OK! We are all at different stages -- various shades of green -- and all of them are good. Remember to take baby steps. Do what you can, and don't get overwhelmed by things that just don't seem feasible to you. Even though Heather, others in my GreenGroup and lots of new online friends may be harvesting their own eggs soon, let me tell ya', I don't think I'll be getting chickens anytime ever!


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