Brown Egg Blue Egg


by Robin from Indiana

The Napkin Game

The intelligence of my chicken companions never fails to amaze me. Beaker was our Rhode Island Red and a curious feisty little troublemaker who loved people.

Beaker In Her Garden
Last summer Aunt Patty came in to visit and one night after dinner we were all sitting around the kitchen table, joined of course, by Beaker. We were amused when Beaker suddenly approached my aunt, gently slid the paper napkin from under her plate, dropped it in front her, and waited expectantly.

It didn't take long for Aunt Patty to figure out Beaker wanted her to hide it. We all watched with fascination as auntie would hide the napkin only to have Beaker slide it out, where ever it was, and return it to her. For almost an hour they enjoyed their little game.
Next night the game went on. Every night my aunt and Beaker enjoyed their little "Napkin Game" but Aunt Patty eventually returned to Texas.

One night Beaker approached me after dinner, slid the napkin from beneath my plate, and placed it before me. I was so delighted she wanted to play with me! I tried. But, I either hid the napkin too well and it was difficult for Beaker to retrieve or not well enough and it was too easy. After a number of unsuccessful attempts, Beaker's expression grew frustrated, she slowly turned her back, and abandoned the game.

She never again brought me a napkin.

Beaker On Her Loveseat

Who's On the Phone?
Beaker liked to talk on the phone. She would snooze on my lap while I talked with family and friends. They would eventually ask to speak to Beaker. Imagine how surprised I was to realize Beaker knew exactly who was talking!

Beaker had individual and unique relationships with everyone in her life. She trilled to me, bucked aggressively at my mother, and mumbled to my husband and grandfather. But, Aunt Patty and Beaker had the very special relationship. Aunt Patty wasn't well for years and her health was very fragile. When Beaker spoke to her it was very soft, almost imperceptible.

I was on the phone with my mother when she first asked to talk with Beaker. When I put the phone next to Beaker's ear, her eyes got wide and she yelled, "BUCK!" just as she does when seeing my mother in person. A second later Beaker pecked the phone. I heard my mother talking to her through the receiver. Beaker once again yelled, "BUCK!" and pecked the phone.

I thought Beaker just didn't like the phone. A few days later I was speaking with Aunt Patty. She too wanted to talk to the special chicken. This time, after listening for a few moments, Beakers started to very softly buck a steady stream of chicken conversation. She was talking to my aunt the same way she did in person!

We eventually tested the theory with all the people in her life and proved Beaker recognized each and every one of us.

Beaker In Her Bumblefoot Boots

Beaker Sun Bathing

The Invention of 'Huggers'

Beaker On Her Couch
Beaker had so much love to give sometimes I wondered how her little body contained it. Never far from my side, that six-pound Rhode Island Red hen brightened up my life like a little sun. No matter the happenings in the daily course of living, good or bad, Beaker shared it with me.

After a particularly awful morning, I joined her in the aviary to spend some time with her and my pigeons and doves. As always, Beaker came running as fast as she could, jumped up on the loveseat, and took her place on my lap. After a little nap she decided to preen so she stepped off my lap and stood next to me on the loveseat.

Still depressed and disgusted with my morning, I decided a cuddle was just what I needed. I reached for her to hold her my arms. Suddenly she stopped preening, looked directly into my eyes, stepped closer, and gently stretched her neck over my shoulder to effectively give me a chicken hug.
It was one of the most special moments between she and I. She continued to stand there as my arms went around her, comforting me in a way only she could. I called this her "huggers'.

What was amazing is that Beaker continued to give hugs. If I asked for a 'huggers', she would step into my arms and stretch her neck over my shoulder, and often buried her face in my hair.

Her gentle compassionate nature was precious to me. A little chicken gave the biggest hugs I've ever received.

Beaker Relaxing in Her Bed

Brown Egg Blue Egg