Flora laid her first egg this morning.
Compared to Hazel's eggs, Flora's is a wee one. But sweet nonetheless.
Have you ever watched a chicken lay an egg? I have.
Last week I watched as Hazel struggled in her nesting box, trying to find footing and a comfortable spot. It took twenty minutes.
Even then you could see that this was no easy task. Panting profusely, Hazel suddenly lifted up, fluffed her feathers and filled the nesting box with her body. A few pushes and I heard the egg tap on the floor of the box.
It took her a minute to relax. Then she hopped down, drank copious amounts of water and waddled back to the chicken yard through the pop-hole.
What I witnessed was a miracle, small and beautiful. I will never look at the humble chicken in the same way again. Nor will I take the fruits of their labor - those small, perfect eggs, for granted. Each one is a treasure, a gift from the hen that created them.
Is there any wonder that, when the hens have put themselves to bed for the night and I check to make sure all is well, I gently stroke their backs and whisper "Thank you." to each of them?
Chickens are miracles unto themselves, and caring for them is a pleasure I think everyone should be able to experience.
Try it. I think you will agree.