White chicken stands in a doorway with a sign that says "No Chickens Allowed in Office" tacked to the door

Sally the hen gave an outraged squawk. I had nearly stepped on the tip of her right toe. But really; she parked herself, all spread out in the early morning sun, directly in the office doorway and I did do my best to avoid her as I carefully stepped over her lounging body. There is just no pleasing some hens. It was me who accommodated her after all. I could have asked her to move, though I believe the thought that someone would do that never occurred to her. She was there first after all and thus it was her right to remain undisturbed. Sally prefers her hamburger grilled. I discovered this when some friends coming over for dinner put their meat on the grill. She already showed a taste...

Orphaned baby squirrel eating from an eye dropper

Mid March The towels in the shoe box gave a suspicious lurch. There is Life in there! Every day, they change. Ears a little perkier. Tails up across their backs. Three blind heads poking out from the edge of the box. I reach in to take one out for feeding and she gives a sudden, electric jerk as she feels my touch. Just one—but it’s the sign of a rapidly maturing nervous system, a harbinger of things to come. Before this, they had been helpless and passive. In a few weeks, their reflexes will be so quick it will be impossible to catch them or even track them with our eyes. End March Oh dear! Their eyes are opening and the box is moving a lot—sudden jerky little movements. I know...

Large salad with lettuce, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, grapes, and ranch dressing

— by Dawn Harrison — We received a donation of 30 pounds of organic meat and salmon, much to the delight of the animals. I felt bad for the couple whose freezer decided to stop working, but I was hard-pressed to stay sad after seeing the joy that it brought to certain individuals on property. The cats (Tahi the Cougar and Better the Bobcat) got some of the most beautiful steaks I’ve seen in a long time as well as a slice of salmon---and showed their appreciation in their own feline way. They quickly nabbed their bounty and stole off to the corner to savor it. The wolves, coyotes, and foxes also enjoyed their meaty treats, devouring their choice bits with zeal. But the bears, as...

White chicken in a nesting box

— by Dawn Harrison — Sally the Chicken was on the office porch as she often is, sunning herself, when something told me she wanted attention. When I bent to pet her, she tucked her body and gave me a look that said, “Well come on, pick me up.” So I did. I was expecting a very short and possibly awkward time holding a wary chicken. What I got was a very loving Sally putting her head to my chest, looking up, and cooing to me a bit. It was a lovely connection with such a strong and willful creature. Of course, she kept true to her reputation once I put her down. She ruffled her feathers, preened a few, and determinedly walked back to her feed pan. But a connection was made. — by...

White chicken

— by Susan Eirich, Ph.D. — Sally the chicken came marching towards me with something clearly on her mind. She had a request. Would I kindly see to it that she could get back into the coop---she needed to lay an egg. Unlike her sister, she does not do anything with timidity. She had a demand and expected it to be responded to. In fairness to her, imagine if you were chicken-sized and had an egg as large in proportion to your body as an egg is to a chicken. You might have a sense of urgency as well. I’m not sure how I knew that was her request, but somehow, I did. She doesn’t have her usual access through the dip under the fence, since the snow is melting and the dip is...

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