This past weekend my brother-in-law came over to help me cut down a 50-year-old fallen pine tree in my front yard. I am so appreciative of his skill, brawn and the young adults that helped me remove the tree. As he pulled up in his pick up truck, out he came with a container of farm fresh eggs freshly picked from his chickens. I alway am excited to get ingredients to cook or bake that are home grown or locally raised.
As he handed me the eggs, it reminded me of Spring of 2004. My son was 4 years-old, nieces, nephews were all young and we hosted our first egg hunt. Eggs were hidden all over the yard ready for the big hunt. When my sister came into the kitchen she was carrying a brown paper box with holes punched in the top. She had a saucy smile on her face as she called my son into the room.
As he opened the box, out popped the perfect tiny little chick that my son immediately called George. George was adorable and was the hit of the party. My son’s first pet, George-the-Chick. Now, while you fell in love with George at first site, you felt a bit awkward thinking there was no way poor George was going to live past the weekend. The kids were holding him, petting him, playing toys with George all day long. Poor George looked weak like he was barely making it through the day.
At night we searched high and low to find the essential light bulb and newspaper to put in the bottom of his new home. My son gave him food, water and safely tucked him to sleep. We laughed all day at the new addition of George to our family. We worried that George would not being strong enough to live without his mother.
Each day my son would run into the garage play with George, get him fresh food and water. My son would play with him in the backyard. After school, the neighborhood children would come and play with George-the-now-Chicken in the backyard. They would swish him down the slide and give him rides in a red wagon. George grew bigger each week through spring, summer and fall. In the summer my son insisted that we build George a bigger home. George had now grown the size of a 8 pound stewing bird complete with amber colored, feathers, a sharp beak and web feet.
One afternoon when I returned from work, my son was yelling, “Dad, Dad, George, come and see!” “Look George has laid eggs!” Sure enough there were 3 small almost pastel colored eggs in the bottom of the pen. I smiled and thought to myself, hmmm, I think this might be Georgette not George but I said nothing to my son. His excitement was innocent and pure with thoughts filled with the wonder of his age.
As winter was approaching, I began explaining to my son that George would need to be reunited with his family. I explained to him that he was noble to care for George but that he would be lonely if could not spend Thanksgiving with his family. My big-hearted son agreed so we planned to ask my brother-in-law to pick him up and drive him to his farm to be with his chicken family.
So, again my brother-in-law drove up the driveway in his pick-up truck. He and my son lifted the full grown George-the-Chicken in his coupe and drove him back to the farm to be with his family for Thanksgiving.
Egg, chicken and egg-the circle of life.