March 24, 2024

By Arthur H. Gunther III


      Living in a small village of about 5,000 some decades ago, there was enough rural land not yet swallowed by post-war growth that neighbors still had chickens. Roosters were alarm clocks for school children, and henhouses were welcome play spots despite never-ending droppings.

     The clucking that chickens make, the crazy moving of their heads as they dance around each other are part of nature’s symphony. They were fun to watch in simpler days when your mom scooted you out of the house on Saturdays so she could both clean and have peace and the pleasure of her own quiet. Also part of nature’s symphony.

     There was a lesson to learn, too, from visiting henhouses. The birds would allow you to take warm eggs from their warmth, but you had to give back. The golden rule was to never remove a chicken’s eggs without a pat in thanks.

     Again, nature’s symphony, and a life lesson.

     The writer is a retired newspaperman.