Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Facing the fowl September 22, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:01 AM
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MY MOM PAUSED in our conversation. She wondered if she was hearing me right. I had just stated that I thought the chickens beautiful. Not all chickens. But these chickens.

 

Chickens, rooster

 

She had reason to question my observation. Ever since I was tormented and pecked at and chased by a rooster while growing up on our Minnesota farm, I have disliked chickens. I am afraid of them, of their flapping wings and sharp beaks and talons.

 

Chickens, patterned chicken

 

But these chickens were different. They are not plain white. And the rooster did not chase me.

 

Chickens, buff colored chicken

 

I was able to stand within feet of uncaged multi-colored fowl and appreciate their beauty. Sheen of blue in black feathers. Patterns of black and white. A beautiful buff. Chickens that were actually cute, if a chicken can be truly cute.

 

Chickens, black chicken

 

Even I surprised myself. I was not terrified. I did not scamper away. I drew the line, though, at cuddling the chickens belonging to friends Steve and Joy. Or at being inside a shed with a hen, gentle as she might appear. My trust is not quite that secure.

 

Chickens, flying chicken

 

And when a chicken flew onto a fence top, I ended the photo session. She was flapping a little too close for my comfort. I have memories of unhappy hens in the chicken coop who did not like their eggs stolen.

 

Chickens, coop

 

I will never really like chickens. But I am at least beginning to tolerate them. The pretty ones.

HOW ABOUT YOU? What’s your experience with chickens?

FYI: I first observed my friends’ chickens when they were running around the yard. I did not have my camera with me. But when I visited again, I had my camera. These images were taken then.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling