A Sweet Story

When I went to feed the chickens two days ago, I found my favorite hen, Red, a mix of Rhode Island Red and who knows what else, paralyzed. She was lopsided, totally unable to move, her legs stretched behind her.

She’s dying, I thought. When birds are paralyzed, something is drastically wrong and they are dying.  I cried. This was the chicken who came to me hungry and thirsty so I put her in the coop with the others and she thanked me by laying beautiful brown eggs.  If it is possible to love a chicken, I loved this hen.

What should I do? Hasten the process of her dying, put her out of her misery? But I couldn’t do that. Could not see myself or anyone else chopping off her head. Instead, I put some straw in a wide, blue plastic bin and set her in it. She wobbled so I propped her up with a handful of straw and there she sat. I put the bin in shade on the back porch and went inside.

Two of my grandchildren are visiting for Grandma camp. “Grandma, what is that by your eye?”

Red and her banty rooster friend, Jack Benny

“It’s a tear. The red chicken is dying,” I said. “She can’t move. I’m sad.” Then I went to the stove and with back to my family, made pancakes.

Jimmy, 11, said the blessing. “And Heavenly Father, bless the little red hen that she will get well.”  Oh, I thought, how can I tell him when the chicken dies?

An hour later I went to check on Red. I picked her up. She didn’t cluck. She didn’t struggle. But two of her long toes curled and clutched at air. “Hmmm,” I told her. “I must have missed this when I put you in the bucket.”

Another hour passed and I went outside to check on her. This time she clucked when I approached and she was sitting straight, like a nesting chicken. I tried to stand her up. Her legs went down instead of out behind her, but she wobbled so I settled her back into the straw.

I had an errand so I was gone for a couple of hours. When I came back, the bucket was empty and there was one brown egg in the clay pot where she laid her eggs. She was out of the coop scratching for bugs with the other chickens.

Chicken coop. We plant the sunflowers on Mothers’ Day for shade.

What happened? Jimmy’s prayers? A little boy’s faith? So simple.

I wonder if Red was stung by a scorpion. We have a lot of them where I live. It’s possible and could explain what happened.

I had my own prayers to say. “Thank you for saving Red and for answering Jimmy’s prayer.”

What happened to this chicken was a large part of my day. It reminds me of a poem by Willian Carlos Williams, The Red Wheelbarrow.

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white

A red wheelbarrow, rain water, white chickens—a picturesque scene of common, ordinary things, that in a way, become a portrait of a person’s soul, of things that matter to him, to her.

Our small miracle happened two mornings ago. Yesterday, I ran outside and sure enough, there was Red, waiting for her breakfast. I picked a few extra cherry tomatoes for her and a couple of leaves of chard. “Hello, chickie, chickies . . .”

Reflections on a news blurb from June 21, 2018

After reading this morning’s news blurbs, I am more convinced than ever that reportage has become exercises in creative writing, loosely (often VERY loosely) based on reality, hysterical, generalized and in-your-face hyperbole.

This morning’s gem?

Kids being separated from their families is an uber emotional issue.

But really, now.  Last thing I read was of widespread use of psychotropics in these kids.  Maybe the issue merits closer study. How many kisd? What shape were they in when they arrived? After what some of these children have been through, particularly the ones abandoned to coyotes and the brutality of the trip to our border, they will need more than psychotropic drugs to reclaim any sense of rationality. These  drugs are often a stopgap. How to get through the raging storm. How to simmer down enough to be reached with kindness, reasonableness and safety.

Children are the tip of the iceberg , the most visible and the most vulnerable. Our current policy is a nightmare conclusion of ill-thought out, politically motivated and short-sighted legislation and a brash president who decided with executive order he could circumvent constitutional law.

The ball has, appropriately been tossed to Congress to fix. The Executive branch of government is tasked with enforcing existing law. However much liberals cry foul, it is obvious they want anything but what the current administration is doing, as seen by their outcry regarding Trump’s executive order of yesterday, and a rapid morph produced by a blatant, transparent and belligerent linked-arms obstruction and to do so with as much noise as possible. They want to obstruct more than fix.

I would have sent my kids to time-out for this kind of behavior. And to think we actually pay these people’s salaries!

Liberal immigration and border strategies have led, are leading and will lead to more chaos in our country.   Rants, tantrums, invectives, tears—yes a real watery tear now and then, and nasty tweets do not substitute for integrity,  diligence, negotiation, statesmanship, compromise and ultimately, improved border security and immigration policies that are sensible, compassionate, and create order rather than the chaotic, unfair, and dangerous situation we now have.

Who am I? I am a 69 year old woman who lives in a border state. My father farmed and used Mexican farmhands because they were inventive, hardworking and knew how to get the job done.  Some had visas. They had ways to cross the border. Sometimes they were sent home. They were good people. When my dad died, they put on their best jeans and work shirts and came to his funeral. They called him Uncle.

One the other hand,  twenty years ago I took  classes at a Junior College with some Hispanic young women who had the worst attitude about learning, about speaking and writing English and about whites, I’ve ever seen. They were rude, entitled and nasty.  I’m not sure why they were there and noted that they dropped out before the semester was over. I’ve asked myself innumerable times, dropped out to do what?

Immigration is complicated.  And over the years, stupidity and political motives have made it more so.

Oh, grow up, people! Earn your pay, you grunts.  You know who you are.