Today I-Hop joined our family. I-Hop is a black chicken with an ailing foot (leg?). She navigates around by hopping on one foot, thus the name.
Poor chicken. She's been harassed by the other 10 chickens in her flock for months: picked on, pecked on, bloodied, and de-feathered. Our hope? That she'll improve after being removed from her stressful environment AND that she'll serve as a feathered companion for our still-lonely goose, Lucy. So far, so good.
Frances is a chicken lover extraordinaire. Her first action was to cuddle I-Hop in her arms while she stroked and crooned to her. Next step is to give her a new name and, hopefully, a happier, healthier life.
We spent the afternoon with our friends who gave us I-Hop. The four of us observed the goose and chicken while we sat on the deck, soaked in sunshine, conversed, ate lunch, relaxed, and enjoyed this beautiful spring day.
After our friends left I began my T'ai Chi Chih practice indoors. The temperatures had already dropped from 60ish to less than 40 so I wasn't inclined to return outside. Still, midway through practice I stepped out the front door and finished my practice. I'm glad I did. The spring peepers trilled their froggy sounds in the distance while I enjoyed the cool, bug-free stillness of the darkening spring evening.
It's rather amazing to discover how much enjoyment one small, fragile black chicken can bring to our animal kingdom. I hope that our patience and loving kindness will help mend the spirit of this fine feathered friend.