Sarah the chicken overcomes her emotional wounds and finds happiness eating chook food with her friends near the house.
Sarah the black hen came to live in her new home as a pullet (young hen) with her speckled brown friend, Clementine.
Clementine got a fancy name because the people who sold her to us assured us she would lay blue eggs, though she was too young to lay at the time. Sarah, on the other hand, got a dull name because she was expected to lay white eggs.
As it turned out, both Clementine and Sarah lay slightly bluish eggs, but not blue enough for me to definitively convince myself that they’re not white. Perhaps the two hens split the difference.
So Sarah’s ordinary name is a little undeserved.
She is very pretty.
She’s sleek and streamlined and more than a little nervy.
Last year she spent four months broody. No eggs. Then when she finally realised no babies were coming she climbed off her nest and moulted. Also no eggs.
After about nine months she decided to start laying her perhaps-blue eggs again.
Once, she and her friends got into trouble. They found an exciting cave not too far from the chicken coop. It smelled of food and the floor was squishy.
The neighbours (yes, the same ones who stole our sheep) were not impressed to come home and find chickens roaming around their living room.
I maintain they shouldn’t have left the door open.
Then the chickens found a box full of dirt that was crawling with worms. They tended it well, keeping the soil aerated and using it as a dining room and dust-bathing patch.
And when annoying shoots popped up, like the vegetables we sowed, they scratched and scratched until the soil was perfect and clear once more.
One brilliant day, Sarah suffered the fright of her life.
I wasn’t there to see it, so I can only speculate what might have happened.
Sarah was roaming about the lawn, eating grass and doing chickeny things, when the sky darkened.
She looked up, and overhead circled the unmistakable shape of a hawk.
She made a run for the safety of her house, up the driveway, her claws digging into the asphalt, wings flapping to give her speed.
The hawk dove, talons extended.
Sarah squawked and dodged. The talons brushed her wing.
Through the fence, around the water bucket, and finally Sarah plunged into her roofed house. Darkness. Safety.
As I said, I saw nothing of this. I have seen hawks around here, but never bothering the chickens.
I infer what happened from the fact that for months Sarah barely left her house.
My chicken had turned into an agoraphobe.
True, I could entice her out by dropping food on the ground outside, but I suspect as soon as the last kernel of wheat was eaten she high-tailed back inside.
The chicken house is a good distance from our person house, which sometimes means the chickens who sit on the front doorstep and hurl themselves against the glass get fed earlier than those who hide silently in their house at the top of the hill.
One day I was late going up to feed Sarah. I took more pellets than usual to apologise, but when I found her I felt even worse about my tardiness.
She had come out of the chook house and, hugging the hedge, had worked her way twenty metres along the driveway towards the person house. She desperately wanted to get to food, but the world was so terrifying she didn’t know if she could make it.
She looked around wide-eyed as she walked, torn between finding food and going back to safety.
I led her back to her house shaking a tin, and she was so relieved to follow me.
How do you treat an agoraphobic hen? She’s allowed to free range as far as she can bothered walking–well, perhaps not into the neighbours’ house–yet she usually stays within two metres of her house.
Each morning the other chickens troop off on their adventures, leaving her behind. They dig in the garden, paddle in the stream, dust bathe under the camelias, and poo on the front door step.
Sarah sits at home, alone. Cooking, cleaning, staring out the window and wondering when they will return…
So you can understand how happy I was yesterday when I looked out the window (of the person house) and saw Sarah had come with her companions to beg at the front door. She was scared, but with the support of her chickeny friends she was there.
I fed them on the lawn.
I hope this happy chicken story made up for the sad chicken story I told last time.
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16 thoughts on “A happy story about a chicken called Sarah”
Poor Sarah, but I’m glad she seems to be getting over her trauma.
I know nothing about chickens. Have never even liked in a city that allowed you have them!
Chickens are the best! We’ve always had them, even when we lived in town.
Aw, Sarah has excellent friends. . . and a pretty great person Mother Hen, also. You should know, I have enormous chicken envy. In a few more years when this tiny condo we bought is worth about a zillion dollars for no reason, we’re going to cash out and move into the country where I can have a few little Sarahs of my own. Give her some extra chickeny treats for me!
Wishing you many capital gains from your increase in house prices, and lots of room for Sarahs to run around. I bet you’d be an even better Chicken Mum than me.
My eventual chickens will likely find me to be overbearing and wish I’d give them a little privacy. . .
Get friendly chickens. They’re happy to be cuddled, especially if there might be food involved.
I think I’d like to come back as one of your chickens in my next life. What a wonderful way to live! Except for the hawks. I’m glad Sarah’s starting to recover.
They do seem rather happy with their lot in life. They’ll be even happier once we dig the weeds out of the vege garden to give them clean scratching dirt.
Aww, yay Sarah! She’s making eggcellent progress. What a feather in your cap to have such a lovely chicken.
Eggcellent progress indeed. And tell her I’m sorry about the feather, but I needed one for my cap.
I have never felt so akin to a hen before meeting Sarah, via you. May she continue to peck on with courage.
Here’s to many years of pecking and scratching for Sarah!
That is the cutest story!! Our next door neighbors have lost a couple chickens to foxes and hawks.
They once found a beautiful pasture of fresh bugs and removed all that nasty greenery (grass) to get to them. Then a mysterious man (my father) sprinkled some yummy food (grass seeds) right on top and they were delicious.
Basically, they killed the grass in a couple small spots and my dad tried to fix it and inadvertently was just feeding them. I’d hear him banging on his bedroom window at six in the morning yelling “get out of here!” with the expected result: Absolutely Nothing. LOL
Haha. People are so considerate to put the food exactly in the empty places where they were looking for food anyway. In my experience, chickens do not understand “get out”. They think you’re cheering them on.
You know what’s funny? Today (well. yesterday, technically. I haven’t slept yet.) I made a bold declaration to friends of my intention to overcome my fears… lol Then I stumbled upon this via Twitter. *mind blown* 🙂
The universe is telling you something – learn from a chicken. 😉
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