Mother as landing pad
This gives a whole new meaning to 'letting your children walk all over you.' I took this photo back on June 14th, when Whitey's seven baby chicks were ten days old and beginning to figure out that if you flapped your wings, you could lift off the ground.
But the only place to set down once you were airborne was on mom's back, where the landing was soft but the terrain was uneven and slippery. This prime spot was highly coveted, and there were times when Whitey had two chicks wobbling on top of her while two or three others prepared to launch an invasion and claim the territory.
Whitey didn't seem to mind all this, apparently accepting it as simply one more thing that comes with being a mother.
I hadn't planned on putting up any more baby chick photos for a while, lest some of you who are more sheep/donkey/food/cat/whatever fans start to complain. But I changed my mind this morning when I brought Whitey and her little flock their first gourmet meal of the day.
The chicks go into a feathered frenzy every time I show up with food, chirping frantically while scurrying into the screened-in area where their wooden feed trough resides. As usual, I stood in the narrow doorway between the main chicken house and the dining room, bent over at the waist so I could empty the bowl of treats into the trough. I didn't do a head count first.
I heard flap! flap! flap! and felt a soft thunk.
There's a chicken on my back, I thought. Which was immediately followed by And I can't get a picture of it.
The feeling of having something jump onto my back while bent over wasn't completely unfamiliar, as the 4-1/2 pound Doodle Monster often uses me as a landing pad, though she usually swoops down from some higher perch rather than flying up from the ground. (Life with Molly Doodlebug is sort of what I imagine living with a demanding flying squirrel would be like.)
I contemplated the situation for a couple of seconds and then wiggled my back a little. The chick didn't budge. I turned my head around so I could look at it, wondering at the same time how long I could stay in this position and what in the world this chicken was thinking.
After a few more seconds it flapped back onto the ground behind me, then raced toward the treats as soon as I unblocked the doorway.
I didn't mind any of this. It was simply one more thing that comes with being a farmgirl. But I do wish I'd managed to get a picture.
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