Star-Crossed Family (2 ½ weeks) The Cycle of Life

Embrace of the mesquiteOne dozen chicks, 18-days old, peck around the pen with their mother. They thrive, safe and healthy, beneath the leaning embrace of a mesquite tree in the corner of my vegetable garden.

The hen busies herself with her brood, barely noticing that her star-crossed mate has met with tragedy. As the chicks grow and become independent, she will miss the bantam rooster that walked beside her only weeks ago—and I will, too.

As I watch the babies argue over mashed grain, three other chickens sneak behind the back garden fence. These adolescent birds were from an earlier hatch. I’m not surprised when one raises his head and screeches—a pitiful first attempt at the art of crowing, which takes time to master.

It reminds me that the cycle of life continues.

Adolescent Chickens

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