Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ponderings on Chickens

September 24:

Our little flock of Chickens has given us occasion to ponder many things. A few moments ago, Richard said: "If you aren't with the Little Hennies every day, you miss something." I know that is true with Babies and Young Children. Is it true with all of Creation and all of Life?

Richard and Melanie have noted that the Roosters on the 2 Neighboring Farms close by seem to be striking up a conversation with our Freddie, the Buff Orpington Rooster. I wonder what they are saying. They probably wonder what we Humans are saying too.

Roosters crowing over the Country Landscape is quite a sound. I wonder when neighboring Roosters 1st made their presence known upon this land. My understanding is that settlement in Adair County by European Peoples occurred in the 1830s through 50s. That's when our Ancestors settled here too.

Richard's Great Grandparents Abel and Mandana Stukey homesteaded about 7 miles from here just north of Millard in 1843. We have a remnant log from that original cabin. My Great Great Grandparents William and Elizabeth Hart homesteaded in the northeast part of Adair County near Wilmathsville in 1851.

The Stukeys and the Harts would surely have known that sound of the Rooster crowing over the Country Landscape. I can imagine they and especially their Wives would have taken great comfort in that sound of those Roosters and their Hennies. Abel was married to Mandana Cowen Cunningham and William married Elizabeth Cragg. The Stukeys had traveled from Fairfield County, Ohio, while William and Elizabeth immigrated from England.

For a long time, most Farms in these parts were small and most Farm Wives had their flock of Chickens. Since the mid 1900s, Farms became larger to be profitable, People moved or took their jobs from Farms to Town, and People depended on Grocery Stores and Farms farther away for their Food. Flocks of Chickens on rural Farmsteads increasingly became a memory.

I can remember how attached Richard's Mother was to her Chickens. When she left the Farm for the Nursing Home in 1987, her flock of Chickens was one of the last things she gave up. During those years, the Rooster's Crow and the Sounds of the Hennies on the Country Landscape became more infrequent. In our own small way, it is wonderful to see a bit of that return.

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