You Can’t Take the Flock Out of the Chick

| 10/11/2013 10:17:00 AM

When you have chickens and children, sometimes you can’t but help see the similarities between living with a flock of chickens and living with, well, a flock of children.

Photo by Wendy E.N. Thomas

Recently, one of my own chicks who had left the nest and been away as a freshman at a military college for the past six weeks came back to the nest for a much deserved weekend break. All of us were looking forward to having one of ours return to the flock – where we all thought he belonged. But after going through rook week and surviving the various arbitrary rules (food had to be chewed in either five or three bites) his superiors meted out in a haphazard way, I saw that my boy had changed.

Oh sure, he hung out with his brothers and sisters, and shared stories with us about his challenges, like how to undress, shower and then redress in three minutes.

But he was a little too guarded around his own home nest. He didn’t laugh as much. He held his shoulders back and stood taller and a little stiffer when he walked. Instead of quickly shoveling food into his mouth, he put his fork down between bites (actually, many thanks to the military for that one) and often refused snacks between meals (“We’re having heavy PT when we get back.”)

I kept asking him if he wanted or needed anything to take back to school.

10/13/2013 1:50:17 PM

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