Sharing Dinner


There have been several blogworthy moments that could have been documented this week, like the time Helen of Troy Boy sat on my lap for a few minutes without my holding on to him, while I checked on his foot. Or the main story of the week being our first measurable snow (1 inch) and all about how the chickens handled the weather event during (yesterday) and after (today.) I wanted to take pictures, but I didn’t. The chickens did better than great  — they are so very smart and totally get the whole weather thing and how that impacts their day. This was after all, their first snowfall, and even if it was only an inch, they handled it with just the right mix of caution and curiosity. I thought about blogging it all – but I didn’t.

What I want to blog about is my dinner with the chickens tonight. I don’t have pictures of this either.  It started off like any other night, if but just a little off. For example, I normally put all their dinner on a big round shallow tin dish, but tonight I put down their grapes and cheese separately, about an hour earlier. This is because I was a tad late on the hot spaghetti noodles and steamy ground beef with homemade beef gravy (by the way, the dogs also ate this for dinner.) Anyway, when the piping hot meal was ready, I brought a huge serving out to the coop in a big glass bowl, along with a medium sized spoon to ladle it onto their dish, which I did. All 5 chickens came to check out dinner, but didn’t appear too hungry (maybe it was the grapes and cheese earlier?) Sissy began pecking here and there at the noodles and meat. The glass bowl was still about 1/2 full, so I sat on a straw bale in a corner and began slurping it down. It sure was good!

In less than a few seconds, all the chickens, including Sissy came over to me to check out my meal. I showed it to them as I took a few more bites, and then put the bowl down on the ground in front of me.  All 5 chickens eagerly began eating out of my bowl!

What was so special about my glass bowl of noodles and meat when they had a huge tin plate of the same thing no further than 4 ft away? I bent down and began spooning the food up from the bowl and eating too, and for about 5 minutes, all of us were together, perfectly content to eat out of one glass bowl. During those  5 minutes, each chicken gave me direct, prolonged eye contact —  at least once. We were truly sharing dinner.

I don’t know if I can now be certifiably classified as an eccentric chicken lady, but for me those 5 minutes or so eating dinner with my chickens was as special, as connected, and as heartfelt as any dinner I’ve shared with humans…and truth be told – more meaningful than  most.