A little black hen sat on a clutch of eggs for weeks. Day after day, she remained. To us, just sitting on eggs. To her, an inescapable trance brought on by forces unknown. No food. No water. She pecked my hand and puffed up her body to warn when I tried to offer.
Her whole world loyal to one cause.
Amongst all the eggs, only one came to be. One fluffy black chick with yellow elbows found its way out of its shell and into the warm underbelly feathers of his mama.
She left the other eggs behind. For every chirp of her chick, a response from his mama. A mother hen’s call to her chicks is different than any other call she makes. Will every make. It’s reserved for only what is hers. Who is hers. She tells him, “Here, this is where I am. Stay close, little one.”
They went everywhere together for a time. Soft clucks. Tiny chirps.
She didn’t eat the fat earthworm that surfaced when I lifted the water. Instead she alerted her chick with her excited, “Food! There’s good food for you here!” He ran in excitement and gobbled the earthworm up with relish.
But too soon after being born, something happened to one of the fragile little