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