I took that picture this morning when I let the chickens out. That's Miss Violet up there at the top and Dottie in the foreground. I would say that they are friends but I am not sure that Violet actually has friends. She and the rest of the flock tolerate each other and no one has pecked at her in a good long while. Chickens do absolutely have favorite friends and I bet anything that someone has done a study not unlike one of Jane Goodall's with the chimps, tracking and recording the activities between the different hens in a flock, observing those who are dominant and those who are subservient. There is a lot going on in a backyard flock of chickens. They are such flocking creatures because in numbers there is safety and it's easiest for the rooster, if there is one, to protect the hens if he can see all of them in one area but some chickens just seem to be born more as loners than others. Miss Gracie, as we speak, is looking for seeds under the bird feeder all by herself, no other chooks in sight, seemingly as content as she can be. Sometimes a hen will suddenly realize that she is all by herself and she may set up a squalling call to try and locate the rest of her community. As I have said many times before, the noise that a hen makes when she has laid her egg is the signal for the rooster to run to the henhouse to collect her and escort her back to the others. Since they circle the yard more than once every day, there is no real telling where they will be located at certain times. I call it the stations of the cross and they make their pilgrimages as devotedly as any saint of old.
Jessie, Lily, Lauren, Levon and I met up today at Tallahassee Nurseries which is the oldest and biggest nursery in Tallahassee. I've been taking my children there their entire lives and although they used to sometimes complain about my endless shopping for plants, they are now as enthusiastic as I am, if not more so. It is a lovely nursery and big enough so that I do not feel frantic when I'm there the way I do in the smaller nursery that I sometimes go to. Esthetically, it is a beautiful place with lots of room and many areas in which to wander and explore and wish for endless amounts of money in order to buy all of the beautiful plants we desire, along with gorgeous pots and statuary, fountains, and of course, wind chimes.
The wind was blowing today and we are forecast to be getting a cold front and behind that, a storm with high winds, tornado warnings, lots of rain...
"Yes," he said and he should have.
I will never forget that. He is a grown man now, married and everything, as manly a man as there can be but to me, he will always be THE Little Mermaid.