Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cats, Chicks, Canines...and Crayons

     I came across a saying the other day that totally impressed me. I shared it on Facebook, but, in case you missed it, here it is: "We could learn a lot from crayons; some are sharp, some are pretty, some are dull, while others bright; some have weird names, but they all have learned to live together in the same box."--Robert Fulghum
     That's kind of the way it is around our farm. Our animals are much like crayons in a box--they have all learned to live together. It is not unusual when I am feeding the horses or feeder calves in the morning to spot a hen casually clucking and scratching under the feet of said large animals. But no fuss or fight is made. They all coexist. I think there's something to be learned here.
     Our chickens, I believe, think they are part human and part dog and cat. They love eating the dogs' and cats' food. The photo below confirms that. They have no fear of those animals and, in fact, have been caught pecking a cat on the head for shear enjoyment, I guess.
     In the late afternoon when I go to gather eggs, it's a literal zoo at my feet. Cats, chickens, and canines surround me while excited clucks, meows, and an occasional 'woof' fill the air. It's comical to watch. When I'm filling a vehicle with fuel, I don't dare leave the door open or one of the feathered friends will hop in and check out the digs.
     The two remaining ducks that reside on our farm feel as though they are the queens of the place. If they hear any human voices, they immediately begin squawking and quacking, voicing their opinion on the matter. They love to pester the dogs by trying to sneak food out of the pan right in front of them. You can see in the photo where Patches is protecting her 'plate.'

     I like how these animals are unassuming and have no fear. They're a friendly bunch and there is no proverbial pecking order, if you will pardon the pun. They all coexist--much like crayons in a box.

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