We’re having chicken at our house this weekend. Not the kind you eat, although that would have been preferable. No, we are playing host to 2 chicks from my eight year old daughter Natalie’s science class. She has been talking excitedly for weeks about the day it was our turn to take the fluffy little birds home for the weekend. She made me promise not to serve poultry while they are here. However, I couldn’t help but give the chickens my own special nicknames – Barbecue and Extra Crispy.
When I was in school, most of our science experiments were dead, except the worms we dissected and nobody wanted to take them home for the weekend. I guess my reluctance to taking the chicks home is that I didn’t want to be the parent who took 2 chicks home and only returned 1. I was afraid the puppy would eat them or we’d feed them the wrong food or they’d freeze without the heat lamps. And then there is the question of how to care for them. I have barely managed to keep my own kids alive and thriving and get them to school on time. Now I am supposed to manage chicks, too?
The other part of my hesitation came from the fact that I come from a long line of women with chicken issues. Okay, the line isn’t that long, two, to be precise, but isn’t that enough? Both my mother and my aunt used to terrify us as kids with stories of their teenage summer jobs on the farm – wringing the necks of chickens – it must have been an Indiana thing. So when Natalie came to me begging to bring home Barbecue and Extra Crispy, all I could think of was my mother and my aunt and their chicken killing antics.
So now the chicks are sitting on top of a table in my front hall where hopefully they are far enough away from the dog so they aren’t mistaken for a chew toy. I hear them chirping – as I am sure they will continue doing throughout the night. And Natalie, who wanted to have them over for the weekend so badly…is out with her friends at a play, leaving farmer Dawn home alone with the chicks.