Jiffy Pop Chickens
Out to forage.
Have you ever popped corn? My first experience popping the tasty kernels was with the expanding aluminum-foiled Jiffy Pop. You needed to feed it heat and shake it about until the first sound of a kernel pop bounced off the foil. You couldn't see the actual popping, but as the foil mushroomed up you knew the soft, white flowery treat had emerged.
As I watch day to day my two-week old brood I think of Jiffy Pop. As if some unknown hand raised the temperature while everyone slept, they burst in size like popped kernels.
The chicks run throughout my garden twice a day. I transport them in a box which explodes once we reach our destination. They've done away with most spiders and insects and even the snakes fear the running spurts of energy. I covered the young seedlings and weaker plants with soda bottles for protection from the menacing brood who love to "bathe" on the soil at the plants' base.
My chickens are not all white like popped corn. They are black, yellow, red and white and share a limited living space. Since I bought a "mystery" pack only a handful came identified. I can't tell how many are cocks and how many are chickens either, except now many are squaring off to each other and bumping chests in midair. When I see this behavior I bark at them. Yes, bark. They fear the dogs and barking at them retards this aggressive behavior.
After an hour of running, bathing and eating the gathering begins. None wish to return to confinement so I approach each with soft words and caresses and even the strongest, coolest, hard-hearted ones melt in my hands and return to the box. There are always those who give me the run around, but they are MY chicks and I'll pursue them under any plant so as to bring them home safely.
I suppose this too is another lesson at Humility Mountain which leads me to think how God relates with us arrogant hair balls. In a limited land of blacks, yellows, reds and whites we all square off to each other and on many occasions need Someone to "bark" at us and shock us into peace only to later hold us in His hands and lull us into His confidence. Some of us still fear Him, but He will never stop pursuing us, calling us, wooing us into His loving hands and bringing us home.