Saturday, October 18, 2008

Morning Mugging

The darkness increases quickly. Every morning it is dark later, every evening it is dark sooner. This is autumn in the north; dark, damp, cool.

I gather the food for my chickens, and walk out the door. There is a glimmer of light, shapes are seen but not clear. I walk down the stairs, and am mugged by chicks. Twenty tiny feathered balls surround me, pecking my feet, jumping for the food in my hands. I'm afraid if I step forward I will step on one or more of them. I sit on the steps and feed out organic hamburger to intrepid young chickens. The dogs wander over to see if they can get some of those treats. The chicks ignore them. A cat comes on the porch with big meows. I give her a hunk of hamburger. The chicks steal it from her.

I think that if I tripped and fell, the chicks would devour me. I imagine my dogs protecting me from two inch baby chickens. It is cold. They are hungry. I am out late, because it is still dark. I sit and admire the sleek beauty of these tiny birds, so eager to live.

I want to hibernate, to stay in bed until it is light and warm. My feathered friends are out seeking food at the first glimmer of dawn. Life goes on, even without the sun. 

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