“WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG?”

Better days before the exile.

Better days before the exile.

By Lisa Huddleston

If you’re too young to remember the quote I’ve used for this post’s title then … what are you doing reading a blog about Intentional Living in the Second Half? That’s okay. You young folks know how to Google it and learn whatever you want to, and the origins of the title aren’t really what this post’s about anyway.

Today’s topic is chickens, farm life, and getting along–or not getting along. Sort of.

I’d done the research. I’d read about pecking orders and bossy roosters and all that; but for some goofy reason, I just didn’t expect my chickens to act like that. But true to their chicken natures, they do act just like that. They act like chickens!

I know. No big surprise there. Dogs act like dogs. Cats act like cats. People act like people. Of course, even my chickens would act like chickens. But they grew up together! They shared the same box in my basement. They huddled together until the same warming light. How could they turn on each other like they have?

The trouble started when the crowing started. Yes, it turns out that three of our 12 fluffy chicks were actually roosters in disguise! Who knew? And with the crowing came the pecking. Not little love pecks but hard, “I Want to Kill YOU!” pecks.

And so, one by one, the roosters have been relocated. Goldie was lucky–he found a great home with a sweet little family and four lovely little hens. He is free ranging the good life today.

The battle field--looks so serene, doesn't it?

The battle field–looks so serene, doesn’t it?

However, two days ago, there was a cock fight of epic proportions in the hen yard and poor ol’ J.P. (short for “Jurassic Park” because he looked like one of those creepy long-legged dinosaurs in that movie when he was younger) lost. He is recuperating in a large dog crate with a load of Neosporin gobbed on top of his wounded head, and Lovie Dove, a terrible misnomer if ever there was one, has been given to a long-time resident of our rural community who “buys, sells, and trades” chickens. Let’s just say, Goldie won the prize for sure!

Now it is just the ladies until J.P. can make his return, and already I see those girls jockeying for the top spot. Speedy seems to be making a real play for it, but Henny Penny will definitely give her a run for her money. Even Liesel and Hootie were giving it a go at being Queen for the Day.

And all I can think is, “Why can’t we all just get along?” But that is not the way of chickens nor is it the way of the world.

Gladly I was reading in the book of Isaiah this morning, and that good book reminded me that the way it is is not the way it will always be. One day:

The wolf will live with the lamb,

the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together;

and a little child will lead them.

The cow will feed with the bear,

their young will lie down together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the hole of the cobra,

the young child will put his hand

into the viper’s nest.

They will neither harm nor destroy

on all my holy mountain,

for the earth will be full of the

knowledge of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.

(Isaiah 11:6-9)

One day there will be peace. And a little child will lead us all. Hallelujah.

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