Brown Egg Blue Egg

Grace Meets the Flock

by Iona McCormick
11 July 2003
Edited by Alan Stanford, Ph.D.

This afternoon I had so much fun playing with my beautiful red-haired 2 1/2 year old grand daughter, Grace. She had her mother bring her out to see her baby chickens, Max and Ruby. She stayed with me while her mother Dawn did errands. That suited Grace and me fine.

The first thing we did was feed hunks of watermelon to the chickens. If most of you are like me, you drop the pieces of melon and do other things but Grace had other ideas. She squatted next to a piece of the melon and watched the chickens eat it. Her comment cracked me up, "Nanna, chickens poke'm hard face into the watermelon." It took me a few seconds to realize she meant their beaks. With that I got my milk crate and sat beside her watching the chickens poke the melon.

We then gathered some 2 day old eggs which I broke for the chickens to eat. Grace thought breaking those eggs was hysterical. She tossed and laughed and laughed and tossed. I don't know what she found so amusing about breaking those eggs but it was something. A few didn't break so she stomped them and got yolk on her shoes and socks. "Nasty, ugh," were her comments as she kept right on stomping.

She went into the chicken house and found some more eggs which caused her to let out a shriek. I ran thinking she had found a snake or something only to find her laughing and loading her bucket with more eggs. "More, more, more."

Next we watered the chickens. She is a hard task master for all the tubs had to be scrubbed so there was no "green" in them. I was told that her chickens didn't like green water. She filled the tubs and splashed me generously with the hose. Through all the laughter she decided to wash some of the chickens. I laughed at her chasing the birds with the hose and yelling at them to stand still. "Me washing's chickens, Nanna." Her red hair was flying in the heat of the laughter filled chase.

I finally got her to the barn so she could see her chicks. As I opened the barn door the 3 and 4 month old chicks on the floor ran to the front of the barn. Grace let out a loud, "WOW," as they mobbed her and the bucket of corn. She was throwing corn in all directions and shrieking with pleasure. Then she realized she was out numbered and ran to me to keep the chickens from "biting me." The chicks were pecking at the flower pattern on her socks. "Help, Nanna, them bite me."

Our next venture was getting Max and Ruby, white and red EE chicks, for her to hold and pet. Grace is so gentle with them that I am always surprised. She sat in a chair with the two chicks on her lap and stroked their backs as she told them how cute they are. She also picked them up, rubbed her face on them, and told them how soft they are.

This time she also wanted to pet 2 brown ones. I don't have any brown chicks so I got a barred chick and a blue chick. I told Grace what colors they were and was informed that one was stripped and the other was gray, not blue. She is too smart for her age.

I finally got her back to the house and cleaned up. She wanted to draw chickens so we did. Grace said she wanted me to color one blue and with a laugh handed me a gray crayon as she cut those big brown eyes at me. I also had to color a stripped chicken. I lost that round.

In all this rambling I am saying that having those chickens for that little girl to play with today was wonderful. Grace had more fun in two hours with those birds than I have had in weeks. It really made my day seeing her laugh so much.

My heart is full of this wonderful child,

Iona McCormick Quiet Place Farm Jacksonville, NC, USA

Brown Egg Blue Egg