Friday, October 21, 2005

more chicks

This afternoon the brood hen, the one that regularly takes up a long three week residency under our house, emerged into the light.

She squeezed out from under the house followed by a passel of chirping peeps. (I didn't see how many but, there were quite a few).

Imagine what goes through the head of this bird. For three weeks, for 21 days, she climbs under the house and does nothing but sits by herself in the dark (and we mean dark, dark) on top of a nest of eggs.

If, during that time, she came out for food or water, I didn't see her.

But the question here is: what goes on in her mind during all of that time? (for that matter, what does a bird ever think?). Does she work out mathematical equations? Create epic poems? Picture the details of an efficient but fair social order?

Really, though, that's a lot of time to spend in a self-imposed solitary existence. Sort of like spending 40 days (and forty nights) in the wilderness. Just shorter.

But then, the wonders (and for us not mothers, weirdnesses) of motherhood are many. This hen is probably in touch, on some level, with each one of those chicks as it grows inside its egg. This is no doubt true and testable. After all, if an egg dies she knows, because she pushes it out of the nest. This brood-hen had several eggs pushed a foot or so away form her nest. Obviously eggs that were, for some reason, rejected.

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