The Chicken Chronicles: Zorro Teaches Us All About Humility
Yes, I know, Zorro is not a girl’s name, but Zorro is, in fact, a hen. Blame it on me. Blame it all on my roots, I showed up in boots, and ruined your black tie affair….what can I say, I loved the television series “Zorro” as a kid, so when Bev allowed me to name this lovely chicken I hesitated not one second.
The first thing you will notice about Zorro is that she is one damn beautiful chicken. She is solid black with intense blue highlights. When the sun hits her she seems to be shimmering….no joke….this is a lovely bird. She is, in fact, bred for show. Go to county fairs and you will see her breed gathering ribbons while lesser species just gather dust.
She is meant for high heels and slinky evening dresses. She is meant for caviar and fine Dom Perignon. She is meant for just about anything other than hanging out in our backyard at 1828 Fir Street in Olympia, Washington, but here she resides and I would like you to meet her and get to know her a bit better.
Will you join me?
Not One of the Original Six
Zorro is a replacement. When one of our original six turned out to be a rooster (forbidden by law within the city limits) we returned to the chicken breeder and picked up Zorro.
I would love to say that Zorro was immediately welcomed by the original members of our flock but that would be a bald-faced lie. They had formed a clique, having been together almost since birth, so this majestic black bitch was not warmly greeted those first few days. She was shunned. She was outcast. She was pushed aside at meal times and she was bullied by Butter Bitch whenever the opportunity arrived.
Perhaps there was some jealousy at work here, for the rest of the chickens look like Ruth Buzzi at a Miss America Contest when Zorro is in the vicinity. Perhaps there was just the natural order of things. Strangers are always slow to be received by the locals. It takes time to establish rapport. It takes time to establish trust. And so it was in our backyard farm.
Good information for beginners
Progress Was Made
Slow but sure, progress arrived. As the days became weeks, and the weeks months, Zorro was given the acceptance she needed and deserved, and today she is just one of the gang, a princess among paupers but a very integral part of the team.
The pushing and bullying have ended. Resentments have been forgotten, and even Butter Bitch, who you will learn about at a later date, has grudgingly allowed Zorro to find her place and make her mark….and what a mark that is.
Another in this series
- The Chicken Chronicles: Regalia Defies The Odds
Learning about life by observing chickens. Who would have thought it possible?
We All Have Issues
How’s that for a true statement? Who among you has no issues? LIAR! I saw you in the corner with your hand up smirking at the rest of us sad sacks with our traumatized childhoods. Don’t you dare tell me you don’t have any damn issues!
Oops, sorry…..I’ll get control of my own issues and continue the story.
The thing about Zorro that is remarkable is that she does not seem to realize just how beautiful she is. She is the shyest of all the chickens. She is reluctant to state her opinion and can often be found wandering among the herbs in quiet contemplation. If chickens read books then Zorro would be reading “Pride and Prejudice” while sunning herself and sipping tea.
Zorro, in fact, seems to go out of her way to be unobtrusive. There is no inflated ego with Zorro, no “I’m better than you” syndrome that is so utterly boring in many divas. There are no extended hours in the chicken bathroom primping in front of the mirror, and never will you hear a disparaging word from Zorro when she is around Regalia, our cross-beaked ugly. In fact, Zorro has made it a point to befriend Regalia, our own modern-day version of “The Beauty and the Beast” playing out on our stage each and every day.
Yes, as hard as it may be to believe, Zorro is gorgeous but has no ego. Imagine, if you will, Angelina Joline working among the lepers…that is Zorro! Imagine Marilyn Monro at a Monster Truck Rally…that is Zorro! Imagine Audrey Hepburn at a mud-wrestling competition…that is Zorro!
I don't know why but the music amused me in this video
A Heart of Gold
As the sun sets and the chickens head to the coop, the last in line is always Zorro. As the other five secure themselves on the roost and fluff their feathers in anticipation of a long-night’s sleep, Zorro stands outside and keeps a watchful eye on the gathering gloom. There are dangers out there as dusk arrives. Raccoons and possums for sure, all eager to snatch an unsuspecting hen; ever-vigilant hawks ride the thermals waiting for the perfect moment to strike, and the occasional eagle and owl can be seen surveying the buffet table of chicken delights.
In the face of such dangers stands Zorro. She makes one last trip around the yard looking for signs of danger, and then stands on the ramp that leads into the coop and turns her head to the skies, always on guard for those who would threaten her friends. Only when she is convinced that all is safe will she begin to turn for the warm confines inside. She announces to those who are listening that her family is settling down for the night, that she will tolerate no late-night dramatics, and anyone who enters uninvited will suffer her wrath.
And then the beauty queen humbly takes the last place on the roost and settles in for a well-deserved night’s sleep.
We all have talents. We all have special gifts that others do not have. That is the way of life. To say one gift is more important is silliness. My gifts do not make me a better person; only different. The only determining factor in judging the true value of a person is their actions. Do they walk the talk? Do they live their beliefs?
In Zorro we find a creature of uncommon beauty, and yet she does not act special. In Zorro we find a creature who could garner all sorts of praise and awards, and yet she does not seek them.
What is important to Zorro is a sense of community. All for one and one for all, that is her credo and that is the mark by which she will be judged.
If ever there was a chicken who could flaunt pride in her beauty, that chicken would be Zorro, and yet she makes no effort to do so. She simply wants to belong, and she simply wants to live in harmony with others. She could have been insulted by her reception during those early days with the flock, but instead she understood that she had to earn respect, for respect is not a birthright but rather a reward for a life well-lived.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”