Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Where Did My Chicken Go - That's Where

coyote came and stole my chicken.  that's the story people like to tell me.  i however, believe in another story.  whenever coyote is involved it is hard to know what the true story is, because coyote is a known trickster.

i am often surprised how much people inquire about that first chicken on the farm.  my thinking about that black jersey giant, prior to her disappearance, was a healthy detachment.  like everything on the farm, impermanence would be a realistic part of my relationship with the chicken i would come to know as OG. (short for original gangster).  i felt there would be a beginning and surely an end to our time together.  perhaps i thought i could take comfort in that frame of mind.  free from total emotional commitment, i'd be protected from hurt should my time with OG come to an abrupt end.  especially if the circumstances of her departure had something to do with me.  but like all stories that involve a trickster, perspectives change.  thus coyote taught me much about my relationship to OG.

i was the last to accept that coyote had anything to do with OG's departure.  when people would inquire how my chicken was, i'd confidently reply, "she's gone but i'm sure she'll be back."  to which the common reply, after a sad look, would be, "sounds like a coyote got her."  but that was a statement I was not willing to believe.  it was too simple a fate for a creature of OG's majesty.  or, perhaps i felt like that was a sort of judgement of my ability to manage a chicken, much less a farm.  of course like most personal judgements about a simple statement, my highly critical interpretation was a story created in my own head.  the truth was, once OG disappeared, i for the first time faced what i thought was failure on the farm.  i began to worry that the entire farm project might encounter the same fate.  

coyote had forced my hand.  i could no longer pretend that black chicken was just a fleeting figure in my life.  OG embodied a deeper meaning.  I learned a lot from that chicken.  she taught me about the farm, the land, perseverance, survival and life.  impermanent as our time together was, i came to understand the impact OG had on me would last my life-time.  and thus i still believe she will visit me again.

i no longer deny that it was coyote that took my jersey girl away.  a better truth is that crafty trickster seduced her away.  and why not, she is an amazing and beautiful creature, full of power and knowledge.  not the type of animal that one can simply destroy.  nor would a one with the wit of coyote want to.  no, coyote is wise enough to recognize a special creature like OG.  so surely, when the stars were right, under the soft light of the moon, coyote came along and lured OG away, and married my chicken.  somewhere, beyond the brush that boarders the farm, both coyote and OG keep an eye on me now.  constantly watching to make sure i keep my promise to the land.  

as long as i remember the lessons that feisty black chicken taught me, i know everything will be alright.  however, should i loose my faith or get off track, i know there is an old black chicken and a handsome coyote dancing naked just beyond the brambles.  they are there to remind me that all is okay as long as we choose to continue to have fun.


Mark Behringer said...

Yes, I too choose to believe that there are those wiser than ourselves, "watching to make sure we keep our promise to the land." Nicely told Tim, Thanks
Mark, B.W.R.

Art Meier said...

It's a beautiful idea that these two found each other and watch your growing success. I really do enjoy that "spin" to the story. I was inspired by your story and did a little design based on it.