It was, as I have said, a fine autumnal day; the sky was clear and serene, and nature wore that rich and golden livery which we always associate with the idea of abundance. The forests had put on their sober brown and yellow, while some trees of the tenderer kind had been nipped by the frosts into brilliant dyes of orange, purple, and scarlet.... As Ichabod jogged slowly on his way, his eye... ranged with delight over the treasures of jolly autumn. ~Washington Irving, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow"

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bantam Bravery

"Once upon a time there was a tiny, tiny chicken named Chicken Little."

"One day Chicken Little was scratching in the garden when something fell on her head.
"Oh," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling. I must go tell the king."



"How do you know that the sky is falling, Chicken Little?" asked Henny Penny.
"I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it fell on my head," said Chicken Little."
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This is MY Chicken Little.
Her name is Squeaky because she has this squeak instead of a cluck.
She is a Bantam chicken.
She's kind of a nervous bird.
She ALWAYS thinks the sky is falling and rightfully so. She is the only Bantam hen in the coop. A little chicken in a land of amazons.
There use to be another Banty. Her name was Henny Penny. She has gone over the Rainbow Bridge and now Squeak is on her own. We also have a Bantam rooster.

Napoleon is kind of busy staying on top of things so he's not much help to Squeak. He is a kind and benevolent ruler and has always been good to the "ladies", but he doesn't have time to defend Squeak from the other hens.
So, over the years, Squeaky has learned to be a survivor. She grabs the food and runs. She gets pecked and knocked around. Stepped on and chased... but, as the old worn out adage says, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger". It would appear this is true.
The flock loves to "free range" but we don't let them do this everyday. There are so many predators around that it's not really safe to just let them run all over the place. So, when we know that we will be home most of the day, we let them out.
Squeaky loves these wonderful days of fresh grass and bugs.
She has space to be her own chicken.
She has room to roam... usually by herself.
So it was a surprise to see this the other day...
Not surprising because the chickens were dusting and resting in my chicken/turkey/deer ravaged garden near the driveway.
Not  surprising because they were all together soaking up the early morning sunshine...
but completely surprising because, on closer inspection, look who is with them.
There on the left... tucked right down next to all the Amazonians.
Yes, it's Squeaky.
She was all scooched down, covered with dust and acting like one of the clique... the sisterhood of feathers.
What a brave little chicken she is.  Even when another big hen came in to flop around and scatter dirt. Even when the barred rock behind her readjusted and kicked her accidentally... she just made a loud squeak and held her ground. What bravery! What fortitude!
She may be a "chicken little" but she's a tough little bird and we love her.
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This post was for my friend Jan, at Little Pink Houses,  who always asks about Squeaky.
Jan has a cat named Rusty that is going through a very rough time. He had a leg amputated because it had a fast growing cancer in it.  Poor kitty is not having an easy time of it. Please leave her a message and a few good thoughts.




10 comments:

Jan Ely said...

That's my sweet chicken, pretty on the outside tough on the inside. You didn't mention her empty nest syndrome. I hope that like me, she has grown out of it. How sweet to ask for good thoughts for Rusty. He has had NO MORE seizures for one solid week! He is still recuperating, but every once in a while he'll take a nap with his head upside down and I can see the "old Rusty" is still in there!

Brian Miller said...

smiles. way to go squeaky! stay after it you are alright in my book...

Debora said...

That chicken's got pluck! LOL.

Paxie said...

Awww shucks. Got these darn happy tears again.

I hope Jan's furry friend heals soon!

thecrazysheeplady said...

We had a solitary Squeaky too :-). Her name is Little Jane and she lays eggs, but crows like a rooster! Whistling women...

Teresa Evangeline said...

Bravo to Squeaky for holding her ground and her place in the "sisterhood of feathers." I Love that. I had fun reading this. Animals are so wonderful and have such grand lessons to teach us.

Best thoughts to Rusty and Jan.

Roslyn said...

Aaaaw shucks how sweet but I am feeling very sorry for little bantam chickie it must be hard to see her bullied. Is she "layer".

Suz said...

I could use a free range day myself
and a good sunning
I love tough chicks
think of myself as one
Will visit Jan

Charming Baglady said...

Pick a little, talk a little, cheep cheep cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more . . .
There’s probably a good reason why “Squeaky” doesn’t cluck. I’ll bet her mama taught her what my mama always told me . . . . .
“Whistling girls and clucking hens always come to some bad end”!
Being the computer illiterate that I am, I wasn’t able to figure out how to leave a post on Jan’s blog. I hope she will see this.
Dear Jan, Reading about Rusty brought tears to my eyes. What an adorable guy he is! I’m so happy to hear that his recovery is going well and he’s showing signs of his “old self” again! I wish all the best for you and yours; if it wasn’t for you I would never have found Connie again. Just think, Little Pink Houses and the milkman created a miracle!! I’m forever in your debt.
~Dawn

Jan Ely said...

Thanks Dawn! So glad you and C are "together again"! Rusty got his staples out today and then spent the rest of the day sleeping!