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DSCN3689Cochin Rooster

They are shy,
the Chinese chickens
called Cochin—
staying in the smallest pen,
until we urged them out
into the larger barn community.
They began to move about
some.
Still, they seem to like
each other best,
and cozy corners.
which is where we often found them,
together.
After a few weeks,
they had yet to find their way
up and over and out
the chicken and guinea door.
So Ann made it safe for them
to exit ground level
out into the goat pen.
(In other words, she moved the goats
into the alpaca pen
to use as their daylight home.)
With some enabling,
the Cochins walked into the sunshine
and began pecking at the grass.
It wasn’t long
before they retreated back into the pen
(the hen, before I had photographed her)
but they don’t have direct access to the barn now
and surely the sunshine
and the goodies in the soil
will beckon them
and they will enjoy the outdoors
as much as the other chickens.
Maybe.
The one thing we know
about the natural world—
every single being in the natural world—
is that nothing is predictable.
Nature surprises
at every turn.
Something new emerges
as the parts
respond to each other.
So thank you,
dear chickens,
dear guineas:
you are great teachers.