While living on our little eight-area farm in Grass Valley, California. Mom raised white Leghorn chickens. She would start them out in the spring. Little yellow chicks only a few days old. All huddled together peeping and chirping at once.
To keep them warm she put them in a newspaper lined cardboard box, in front of our big cast iron stove. A light bulb suspended over the top with a burlap bag for a cover. When they got too big for the kitchen, out they would go to the chicken house. Mom loved her chickens and they in turn followed her everywhere. Her goal was fifty hens and fifty eggs. I know of at least once she achieved her goal.
I’m not sure how many roosters she had, but there were too many for my taste. We had a little path behind the house that went to the rabbit pens. I was supposed to feed them every morning. There was his huge rooster that used to chase me, with his head down and a glare in his eye he would dart around the corner of the house flapping his wings. I would try to find a way to avoid him, but I had to use the same path and he seemed to know just when I would be feeding the rabbits.
Just knowing he was waiting for me, gave me goose bumps and made me afraid to go outside. I knew my Dad loved me, but how could he send me out to face that darned rooster? Dad kept saying, “Jeannie, he’s going to keep chasing you until you stop running and screaming away from him. Just turn and start chasing him back.”
That for a seven-year old is hard to do. One day I finally got up enough courage to turn around and chase that bird. That rooster turned and fled squawking like mad. I couldn’t believe it. He was afraid of me. There are several lessons here to think about, and I now know what the saying “Don’t be a chicken” is all about.