Archived Story

It was a dark and stormy night

Published 11:08am Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I can see it now. Old age setting in, sitting on my front porch in my well-worn rocking chair.

Looking out over the landscape thinking about life and family. Sipping on some good old-fashioned iced tea with a slice of lemon.

I often wonder what my family will say about me when I’m gone. At this point in my life I could nail that down pretty accurately.

“We appreciated Dad, he bent over backwards for those chickens.”

To set the record straight, I don’t bend over backwards just for the love a good over easy egg in the morning.

There are two women in my life that absolutely adore those feather brains, which makes me married to keeping them up and running. Yes, I have officially become a polygamist – I am married to 13 chickens.

If that isn’t bad enough, I’m now the proud father of two new chicks newly hatched.

True to form, nothing these chickens do is convenient for young inexperienced Dad here. I remember like it was last week (because it was).

Long day at work, I get home wet and tired, I walk in to see my kids who are as giddy as Woody Wood Pecker.

The chicks were officially starting to hatch. After waiting three weeks for this moment, they decide to come on a night full of thunderstorm and tornado warnings. Thank you, Mother Nature.

Daddy on the spot must situate dearly beloved Mother and the newborns into a luxurious cage. Complete with a box just the right size, plenty of pine shavings, water and food: a regular chicken Hilton. My wife and kids, the generals of my life, wanted to give them some privacy so they can flourish as all chickens should.

All ideas are great in theory, until one has to go out with the sky lighting up like a Disney World laser show. Everyone was raring to go; after all, who cares about thunder, lightning and being in the middle of an open field carrying a metal cage to a chicken coop?

Not sure how recently anyone has witnessed an excited 7-year-old.

My daughter gets excited over chickens, especially hatching ones. Trying to calm her down and stop talking is like trying to stop Wiley Coyote from chasing the Road Runner. My son, he’s more calm, cool and collected – just like Daddy, of course.

Flashlight in hand, one umbrella available for four people – and a cage – we tromp through the rain and mud to situate mother hen. Pushing aside the thought and awe of the 360-degree lightning display going on around me, I bring up the rear as the kids run as fast as they can. Either out of fear or excitement, I’ll never know.

I’m sure that hen is eternally grateful for us coming to her domicile, risking being lit up like a glorified cartoon in the electrical storm, to make her more comfortable. I still haven’t gotten a thank you.

One thing I do know, my wife and kids felt a lot better about the situation afterwards. Especially after we woke up to new chicks the next morning. Yeah Daddy!

The miracle of life is amazing as we witnessed.

I don’t know what came first, the chicken or the egg, but I do know that a glob of goo inside those eggs metamorphosed into a real live chick within 21 days of momma hen sitting on them. It’s hard to believe some don’t see the divine order of things when you witness nature in action like this.

What I eat for breakfast every day turned into a real chicken when given the opportunity and environment. My daughter and son see this, and know at a young age that life is no accident and all life has a purpose, leaving evolution in the dust.

I could carry an egg in my pocket for 21 days, and guarantee it won’t have the same effect. It may get a little messy though. Our hen knew exactly what she was doing and so do my kids when it comes to taking care of little chicks.

Just another wonderful grassroots piece to the puzzle of life.

Chris Jakubowicz lives in Columbus with his wife and children. His bi-weekly column will focus on how he and his family are trying to get back to their grassroots. Jakubowicz can be reached by e-mail at cjak32@gmail.com.

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