No better child hood, the story of a young boy and his pet fowl.
Updated on October 22, 2011
I will never forget "Mother Hen"
The year was 1962, and I was then a very young boy living in the islands.
Apart from the many chores young people my age did in the islands during those times and probably even now, they are most likely preoccupied with such things as farming and raising animals. This is not done because of their love for nature and all its beautiful inhabitants which share such a beautiful space, but rather because it is a necessity. One they have since come to understand and show the maximum respect for .
Of all those given pastimes children had while growing up in the islands, things like sports, cricket , soccer, fishing , hunting, farming and the raising of animals were undoubtedly at the top of the list. Having pets, raising animals and a garden, regardless of the size of the garden or the quantity of pets and animals, was definitely the mainstay of most families.
In my household at that time, and during that year, I remember quite clearly, that our garden was somewhere around, but not close . However the animals were, and those animals we had were mainly Fowls.
It was during those times while my family was raising these fowls, one of my very best childhood memories evolved, so much so that it became one of the main contributing factors which greatly assisted in my conversion to vegetarianism, many years ago, after arriving in the U.S.A.
This story, is one which consists of this unique specimen of a fowl that somehow appeared during that period, this is a possibly which comes around once in a lifetime..
Our parents knew this and called this foul in the spotlight "Mother Hen"
She was a beautiful brown and beige color, walked very proud with her chest protruding and upright. She was always the very first to answer, when the call went out at feeding and also at bedtime.
It was through these great qualities that this particular fowl, was chosen by my mother and father, to be the one that would never be eaten. But hens forth , be instead the one appointed the leader, and called Mother Hen in a show of gratitude, and a means of saying, thanks for providing the family with many eggs and beautiful babies.
I grew up with that fowl and watched how she continued to earn her name. There were many other fowls but none was obedient and responsible as ' Mother Hen" it was almost as if she was quite aware of her status in our rapidly growing family of fowls.
She grew very tolerant of all the members in our family, but somehow she would show this unfamiliar body language, when any stranger was present.
She made us all very proud her , having a sense of accomplishment, having something special. It was a sight to behold.
The only known trainable animals that would display such closeness with their owners , around those times were the likes of monkeys, dogs, cats, pigeons, horses , donkeys , those like that. The life cycle of any and all manner of fowls, were pretty short, they quickly becomes dinner, but this was a different kind of fowl "Mother Hen" was a huge breed apart.
After some time, she even became so true to her name , it showed in her overly protective display of parenting, showing so much care and concern for her children, it was simply amazing the things she would do. She would stand at these specific points in the yard , almost as if counting her children. Checking for them during feeding and again at bedtime.
The majority of them were her own babies, and after some time, they were all her children,
it was beautiful and everyone including our neighbors and friends came to know of her well .
We all loved her dearly .
She was a very clever fowl, we also had a name for that special Rooster, the one we knew was her boyfriend, his name was "Percy." he was some character himself.
He acted as if he was the king of the yard, sine he was "Mother Hen's" choice of a mate.
In his own rights he was.
But we all were preoccupied with "Mother Hen" she was very special.
He (Percy) seem to be always keeping everything in check, with the rest of the family.
But anytime a possible threat of any kind, entering the yard. Be it a dog, a Mongoose, a Chicken Hawk that was soaring overhead and coming a little too close, sometimes just a stranger. Those two fowls would sound the alarm, in a way that creates an air of uneasiness,
the sounds of which will signal to everyone, even the neighbors, that something was not correct, there was some kind of interference going on.
No one challenged the hierarchy of "Mother Hen and Percy" It was as if there was this understanding , and quite possibly there was. As I have now grown to understand the way these animals types of animals function.
Every now and again there would be a young Rooster that will challenge Percy's supremacy,
a challenge for the rights to his hareem, but usually they were all quickly repulsed, and dispersed of, those were the ones that will be eaten first .
"Mother Hen" was so confident, and displayed such poise, that even the members of our family, fell under her charming spell. We were able to call her by her name, and she would come straight to our hands, where we would pet her, by rubbing her feathers, which she liked. That was quite unusual for these animals.
But Percy on the other hand, though he was always very close, he would not let "Mother Hen " out of his sight and won't let anyone come too close to him.
Where ever "Mother Hen" was, Percy was not far away.
They helped bring harmony to the lives of us children, and helped with that much needed love, that young children so desperately need to learn about, feel and also exercise for things in nature. Things other than the usual toys, candies and play.
We took turns in seeing for the fowls. I believe that when kids are taught to exercise these attributes early, self discipline is usually not far away. For they would learn to show care and responsible for living things. That's a major plus!
They would also learn about affection and at the same time they will learn to care for themselves. Mothers like mine saw to those things, in ways that have always resonated with me, and I can also say, with the entire family.
Even to this very day, we still share the stories of all the animals and plants we had grown to be appreciative of.
Some of the greatest children in our world , have all grown up with that special love for nature and it's inhabitants, some went on to even be "Presidents" as some of us will know.