As the daughter of two actors, I often see the world through the lens of theater. In the morning, when I let the young chickens out of their shelter, I feel as though I am watching a show-stopping song and dance number. The space in front of me erupts with sound, color and movement as all the chicks run through the greenery as fast as their little legs can carry them. Their little bodies shift from side to side with every step, and their wings sometimes flap for emphasis as the ensemble traces patterns of white through the green clover. They all gather into perfect lines, facing each other, with their feed troughs between them, and they keep singing as they wait for me to deliver their food. I’m never sure whether to applaud or start singing myself. Usually I don’t do either, but I consider it as I scoop their grain into their troughs.
We lost a couple of ducks to predators during the last week, which was hard. Each time, we made changes to their pen, and I think they will be safe at night now. I was talking about my ducks with someone at a Fourth of July party, and she knew just how I felt about them. “Ducks have heart,” she said with a knowing nod. We fill up a couple of the children’s sleds with water so they have a place to splash. They curve their necks and dip gracefully so that the water falls down on their backs, and then they wiggle their tails with what looks like delight. They make those old plastic sleds look almost elegant. Clearly, we are going to have to look into the possibility of selling duck eggs.