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The Chicken Chronicles: Minerva Boldly Goes Where Others Dare To Dream

Updated on January 16, 2014

Daydream with Me Awhile

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.

Anais Nin

I’m trying to picture in my mind what Evel Knievel was like as a child. How about Amelia Earhart, or Charles Lindberg, or even Lewis & Clark for that matter? Did they lead “normal childhoods” or did they leap from tall buildings and risk life and limb when they were ten? Can you imagine their poor parents, constantly frightened out of their gourds that their little toddler might at that very moment be climbing the tallest tree for no other reason than because it is there waiting for them?

Those of us who are mere mortals shake our heads when we think of risk-taking that borders on life-threatening. What in the world are those people thinking? Why would they do that? Have they lost their minds?

I raise all these questions because right outside my studio, not ten feet from where I am sitting, is Minerva, our Hawk Girl, sitting atop the fence trying to decide whether to fly into the neighbor’s yard or stay here with the rest of the flock.

The smart money says she will take the flight.

The Hawk Girl in all her splendor
The Hawk Girl in all her splendor | Source

For those of you who want to join in the fun

Minerva Does Not Look like a Chicken

And perhaps that is the problem!

Minerva has practically no wattle. She really doesn’t look like a chicken and in fact looks like the bastard stepchild of some dashing hawk…thus her nickname, the Hawk Girl.

To add further proof to the hawk theory, Minerva is our flyer. She discovered at a very early age that the shortest distance between two points is accomplished through flight and not waddling along like the rest of the pack. She can be seen flying to and fro, always on reconnaissance flights over the backyard, flapping her wings for all she is worth in an attempt to add to her already established distance records. She is the golden missile of our flock, the Star Trek wannabe who has never seen a fence that could pen her in.

But it is not her propensity for flight that makes her special but rather her need to push the limits and take chances that really makes her memorable.

We Could See This Day Coming When She Was a Chick

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

T. S. Eliot

Minerva was the one who first escaped the chick enclosure. Minerva was the one who first nested on top of the coop. Minerva was the one who decided at an early age that blue eggs are much prettier than brown eggs. Minerva was the one who was constantly looking for weaknesses in the fence, testing, prodding, and stretching the limits of the netting. Yes, Minerva was the one who was a royal pain in the butt but oh so very entertaining.

Minerva is on the left, getting ready to fly
Minerva is on the left, getting ready to fly | Source

Her Favorite Direction Is Up

Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit.

e. e. cummings

The grass is always greener on the other side. This is the credo by which Minerva leads her life. She firmly believes, or so I surmise, that life is for living and not for whiling away the hours in pursuit of the mundane and boring. She senses, or again so I surmise, that her life span is a short one, so why the hell not live it with gusto and experience all that she can in the short time she has left.

Some chickens see things as they are and ask why; Minerva sees things that never were and asks why not. Is there danger in this attitude? For sure! Are there risks one must face when one is driven to the outer limits? Most definitely! There are dogs on the other side of those fences. There are cats, possums, raccoons and all manner of threats awaiting our brave Minerva, but still she is not deterred.

Her brothers and sisters watch her in awe. Theirs are safe lives, lived within the confines of our backyard. Their meals are delivered, the heat lamp guaranteed, and as long as they play it safe they know that safety will embrace them….but….observe the flock long enough and you can see the furtive glances, the sparks of jealousy and quite frankly, the confusion they must feel as Minerva does those things they dare not do and receives the rewards they will never know.

Our beauty at six days old
Our beauty at six days old | Source

And for Sure They Should Be Jealous

Fear stifles our thinking and actions. It creates indecisiveness that results in stagnation. I have known talented people who procrastinate indefinitely rather than risk failure. Lost opportunities cause erosion of confidence, and the downward spiral begins.

Charles Stanley

For when Minerva’s final days are upon her, and she is clucking her last cluck, she will be able to look back over the landscape of her life and know it was a life well-lived. She will have no regrets. She will not be haunted by the shouldas, couldas and wouldas of life, for she will have wrung every damn drop of enjoyment from her time spent on this planet. There will be no wistfulness during her last days. There will be no sweet melancholy over opportunities wasted. There will only be a smile on that majestic face, a smile born from the knowledge that she never once cheated herself and she always made her potential her reality.

Who among you would like to walk in Minerva’s shoes for just one day? Who among you would love to know the satisfaction of achieving all that you could achieve? Who among you would like to leave a legacy of fulfillment and gratification for having lived the kind of life you were born to live?

Well Minerva Has a Message for You

Dream it and then live it. Six simple words that Minerva would like to pass on to you all. Dream it and then live it. Visualize success and then become that success. Think positive thoughts and then live those positive thoughts. Imagine stretching the limits and then stretch them. Cast off the self-imposed shackles, grab life by the balls, and then live it to the fullest.

The words of Minerva!

Where Is She; I Can’t Find Her

"A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."
Oscar Wilde

As I look out my window I can’t see Minerva. The others are scratching and pecking, digging at the sod in hopes of finding an unsuspecting bug for breakfast, but where is Minerva? Oh, wait, quiet now…listen carefully. Do you hear it? It’s the sound of wings furiously flapping as The Hawk Girl sets course for yet another adventure. Her egg has been laid for the day. She rose early and ate while the others wiped the sleep from their eyes. Her chores are finished and it is time to play….it is time to explore…it is time to……

Live life to the fullest!

God bless the Minervas of the world!

2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)

“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”

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    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 3 years ago from New York, New York

      Wonderful message and couldn't agree more about grabbing life by the so called balls and living it to the fullest each every day! Happy Thursday Bill and thank you for putting a smile on my face today with this.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Happy Thursday Janine and thank you so much; you are a gem to me.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 3 years ago from sunny Florida

      Minerva is one smart chickie!!! And there are many Minervas out here waiting to emulate her.

      The video about raising our own chickens made me really want them. I have a huge back yard but our neighborhood has a gazillion feral cats so the chickens would be food for them, I fear.

      My friends raise chickens and bring them for us to purchase 25 cents for 6 small ones, 50 cents for six medium ones and they are delicious. I never thought about it as a child, as we had fresh eggs all of the time. As an adult I got used to the bland taste of store bought eggs...but these home raised chickies are producing yummy eggs for us.

      Thanks for sharing with us today Angels and hugs and blessings are on the way to you and Bev and all. ps

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Good morning PS and you are right....fresh eggs taste so much richer and better. I love raising chickens; once we finally move to a small farm I'll have many more of these delightful egg layers. :)

      Have a wonderful day my friend...live it up!

      blessings and hugs are yours

      bill

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      DJ Anderson 3 years ago

      Wonderful message from you and Minerva, this morning.

      I loved your quote from Charles Stanley. That man understands the human mind almost as much as Minerva understands the world.

      You wrapped it all together and gave us encouragement to reach a little higher and go a little farther.

      Isn't it amazing that no matter the age, we continue to learn-----or, are

      we simply being reminded of something we learned long ago.

      OK, isn't is amazing that we seem to have to be reminded of simple

      truths repeatedly throughout life.

      I am so glad to have someone in my life to remind me to reach for

      the stars. Give Minerva a big ole hug, from me. I know how much

      chickens enjoy being hugged. LOL

      As always, thanks Bill.

      DJ.

    • kidscrafts profile image

      kidscrafts 3 years ago from Ottawa, Canada

      Let's follow the lead of Minerva and explore all our possibilities! If a chicken can have an interesting life.... why not us :-) I love where you pick up your life lessons and indeed they are everywhere around us! I have great pleasure observing my two cats.... especially the one who is stealing my pompoms, styrofoam balls, crayons, brushes, etc. It makes life so interesting and I get some exercise running after him as well :-)

      Have a great day, Bill!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 3 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Great stuff. I like that gal a lot.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

      Minerva is one awesome chicken from whom we can all learn much!!! Love this delightful read. Thank you for sharing your great photos too. It is always good to smile and thank you for placing one on my face this day. Hugs to you and Minerva, Faith Reaper

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DJ, I think it's that we have to be reminded of simple truths throughout life. I'm a slow learner, but I do learn. Usually through the stimulus of pain but I do learn. Hopefully someone can learn through Minerva minus the pain. :)

      Blessings to you my friend, and thank you!

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      So do I, Eric...thanks buddy!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      There you go, Joelle...learning life's lessons from a cat. I can see a series of articles from you coming soon. The Cat Chronicles. :)

      Have a stupendous day in Ottawa my friend and thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Faith, if I gave you a smile then I am pleased and my work is done for the day. :) Thank you for your kindness and support; you are greatly appreciated.

      blessings always....and love

      bill

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Minerva is beautiful! One of mine has that spirit if not her beauty and the bad thing is the other two can't live without her so they keep trying until they manage to join her or squawk til I get them back together! Maybe that compares to our determination here at HP to be fast friends instead of clones? Great message in one of my favorite venues Bill!

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 3 years ago from Planet Earth

      I love the way you always find hidden lessons in the normal parts of life. You manage to awaken us to new horizons, and also inspire us to pay attention to the many messages God puts before us.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jackie, I love you take on it...fast friends instead of clones. Great line. Our chickens are the same; one leaves and the clucking begins. I get a kick out of them and it's cheap entertainment.

      Thank you my fast friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Marcy, I don't think I have always been this way. Once I started writing full-time and feeding my passion, my imagination too wing. I love the creative process and seeing lessons in everyday occurrences. Thank you for your kind words.

    • manatita44 profile image

      manatita44 3 years ago from london

      Very interesting one, Bill.

      Acute powers of observation, I suppose, and nice twist. Yes, a great many teachers in life if we look for them. Cool approach.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you manatita, and I really appreciate your comment. Take care my friend.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 3 years ago from Central Florida

      Minerva is beautiful and mind kind of gal. She has no clue of the limitations of her breed. She has dreams and chases them every day. Each day brings opportunity for adventure and she seizes it. I wonder why the other chickens don't try to follow her passion? Hmm.

      I have to tell you, although I eat chicken, I'm glad yours are for eggs only. After watching the 2nd video I feel guilty as hell. I would make a lousy farmer. I would certainly turn full vegetarian - of that I have no doubt!

    • Seafarer Mama profile image

      Karen Szklany Gault 3 years ago from New England

      Hey Bill ~ I must say that this hub holds lots of very nutritious "food for thought." I will pass it on to my fellow chicken co-op members. Enjoyed both your narrative about lovely, gutsy Minerva and the videos you provided about raising chickens. Thanks so much!

      The chickens do develop such interesting personalities. We just lost 2 very sweet chickens, "Speckles" and "vanGogh" to the side effects of impacted crops. Very sad. We so miss them, and are very saddened by losing them!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Sha, Bev is the one who has no problem slaughtering our chickens for meat; luckily that will come in five years or so...by then we'll be on the farm and have hundreds of them. :)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Seafarer, I was sorry to read that in your question this morning. I love that your chickens have names too. I wish I had an answer for your question but we haven't had that problem and I don't know why. Good luck and thank you!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 3 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Bill, Minerva is a very inspiring chick. Loved the quotes, all round another brilliant addition to the chicken chronicle. Take care now.

    • btrbell profile image

      Randi Benlulu 3 years ago from Mesa, AZ

      That Minerva is one smart gal! My kind of chicken! Have a great day!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Just as I was wondering if I stifled the Minerva in me, I read "Fear stifles our thinking and actions." Thanks for relaying Minerva's message. I needed that.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Jo, you are one inspiring chick. :) Keep being the person you are because I love your friendship.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Randi. I appreciate you stopping by my loyal friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glad to hear it Dora! Always nice to see you. Thank you and blessings always.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 3 years ago

      Minerva is inspiring. She can show us all how to reach for the stars. She also makes a total lie out of the use of the word chicken" to describe a coward!

    • Radcliff profile image

      Liz Davis 3 years ago from Hudson, FL

      Minerva is a chicken that isn't chicken! Woah!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      She does indeed, breakfastpop....she's my kind of gal. :) Thanks for the visit; good to hear from you.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Lizzy, that sounds like a riddle. I hope you know the answer. :) Thanks Lizzy; you always make me laugh.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 3 years ago

      I never knew we could learn so much from chickens! Minerva is such an example of living life to the fullest and forget about those who want to sit on the sidelines. Enjoyed your story and message.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad, Dianna! I enjoyed writing it. :)

    • Crystal Tatum profile image

      Crystal Tatum 3 years ago from Georgia

      I love Minerva. I love her spirit and her name. Is there a children's book about an adventurous chicken in your future, Bill?

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Crystal, another thing I have thought about. I imagine it will end up an ebook series if I do it. I need to find a good illustrator if I'm going to make it a reality. Thank you for the suggestion.

    • bdegiulio profile image

      Bill De Giulio 3 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hey Bill. What's not to love about Minerva? My kind of chicken. Life's too short to be walking around in circles in the yard. Good for her. We can learn alot from a chicken, but I'm sure you've already figured that out. Great job. I hope Minevra lives to a ripe old age.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks for taking the time from a busy week to comment my friend. Thank you and have a great weekend, Bill.

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida

      Hi Bill,

      I like Mineva, and her message to all. Soar to the highest aspirations in life, be the little chicken that could. Don’t wait until the sands of time makes one’s bottom too heavy to fly.

      Your friend Bobbi

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I love your chicken stories, Bill. They are not only an interesting look at the lives of animals but an inspiration to humans, too. I enjoyed getting to know Minerva very much.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 3 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Bill. I really enjoyed this one. I believe in the thoughts of Minerva:-).

      Graham.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Great hub with such a powerful message you always surprise with something to think about writing.

    • Glimmer Twin Fan profile image

      Glimmer Twin Fan 3 years ago

      I am loving these chickens Bill. Minerva is a great name for a chicken and she is beautiful! It never ceases to amaze me how different there personalities are and she definitely sounds like a risk taker. Good for her.

      We can all learn from Minerva (and all of your chickens).

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Bobbi, I'm glad you enjoyed Minerva, and thank you for taking the time to stop by. Blessings my friend....always.

      bill

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I'm glad you enjoy them, Alicia....there is only one left....Penelope! Stay tuned, and thank you.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I know you do, Graham; I just wish everyone did. :) Thank you my Lancashire friend.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      DDE, my brain is overflowing with ideas; now if time would be my ally all would be good. :) Thank you!

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Glimmer, I am having great fun writing about them. I'm glad you are enjoying my imagination.....sometimes I wonder if I'm not a little over the top with my ideas, so it's nice to receive affirmation. Thank you!

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 years ago from SW England

      Now there's a chick to whom I'd say, 'More power to your elbow'! She does have a look of the buzzard about her.

      Like her, it's good to take a deep breath, count to ten (I'm sure she can) and take that flight! In fact, that's what I do each time I take a long haul flight - hate it but it has to be done and what rewards we get when we arrive.

      Good one, bill! Or should I say Minerva? Ok, both then! Ann

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Ann, Minerva gets all the credit. I was just the instrument by which she told the story. :) More power to her elbow indeed! LOL

      Thank you dear lady.

      bill

    • vkwok profile image

      Victor W. Kwok 3 years ago from Hawaii

      Chickens certainly are a great source of learning.

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      vkwok, there is learning in just about everything if we are willing. :) Thanks buddy!

    • mathira profile image

      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      'Dream it and then live it.' 'Visualize success and become success'. billy, very inspiring words. Everyone should have a Minerva in them.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Mathira, I think we all have Minerva in us; we have just forgotten how to let her loose. :) Thank you my friend.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      You have such a distinctive voice in your writing, and I absolutely love seeing it shine through in your Chicken Chronicles. Minerva is my kind of gal. Shared, voted up and more. An awesome, uplifting, entertaining write.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thank you Flourish! It is nice to hear that I have a distinctive voice. I'm not even sure I work at it. LOL It is much the way I sound when you talk to me in person. I want my writing to sound conversational.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 3 years ago from New York

      I voted this one all the way across, not just for the Minerva's of the world but for you sharing Minerva with us. We certainly need more Minerva's and more people to sing their praises and put their adventure in our hearts. Well done my friend.

      Voted all buttons!

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Thanks Mary! Minerva says hi and wants you to be careful in the wintry weather. :)

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Hi Bill

      No wonder your chicken are sending educational lessons, living with a professional: great teacher and an excellent writer! Minerva has quite strong "personality", not wasting time sitting atop the fence for long. A message to humans ?- seemingly for her "risk failure" isn't good enough 'comfort zone' ( ouch !). And we here on the earth living a humanity style life , having thousand years ago written word containing message ' How long hop ye about two boughs?' OK closer to home, ": How long will you try to have it both ways?" Even stronger in translation "How long are you to be paralyzed by indecision?" ( Thats enough for me, confessions are not made spontaneously .)

      Voted up,useful, interesting.

      Bon appétit , my friend. (lunch time here in this frigid part of Mi.)

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael my friend, you are feeling your oats this morning. Very funny! Frigid indeed there....quite balmy here. This is the winter that never was in Washington State. Oh well, I'll have to wait until next year to go snowshoeing.

      blessings always

      bill

    • Michael-Milec profile image

      Michael-Milec 3 years ago

      Bill my friend, my personal experience have taught me, " feelings " are not always trustworthy and in this case I'm not sure what I messed up, or I don't fully understand "feeling your oats". ( Sorry my mentor ,Sir Holland .)

    • billybuc profile image
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      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Michael, I'm sorry for the use of the idiom..."feeling your oats" refers to a horse after they have eaten and how they become a bit frisky and full of energy. ;)

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 3 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Children do these things simply because they can. That's all.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      yes they do, Deb....we adults make things a bit more complicated. :)

    • Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

      Pamela Kinnaird W 3 years ago from Maui and Arizona

      I really liked reading about your adventurous chicken, Minerva. I've had a few feathery chicken friends myself, so it was delightful to find someone who has a narrative going about their chicken -- as I used to do (in my head). A little strange -- yet familiar. There were a lot of chicken traps there in the forest where I'd go to leave some chicken feed every day there on Maui. Worried about those chickens and their little ones. Minerva has a nice safe life. Voting way up. Enjoyed.

    • billybuc profile image
      Author

      Bill Holland 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Pamela, thank you. A little strange....yes, but that is the mind of a writer. Chicken traps? I've never heard of such a thing. How odd. Anyway, thanks for stopping by.

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