I don’t like birds. They aren’t like cats or dogs. Birds are weird.
My neighbors have chickens who seem to be obsessed with me. Until we had completed our fence, the chickens routinely visited me when I was out in the yard. My strategy for dealing with them was to try to stay away from them and to talk to them, telling them to go home and enjoy the wonderful things there.
One day, there were probably a dozen chickens in the yard and I was trying to finish the paint job on our new shed. I talked to the chickens as I arranged the paint cans and set up the ladder. I finished moving tools from the shed to the back of the building, closed the door, and got to work. About 10 minutes later, I was still talking to the chickens (to let them know who was boss) when I realized that there were fewer birds talking back. I went to the front of the shed, opened the door and found three chickens standing there. They were looking at me as if I were a maître de and they were waiting for a table. I started talking – fast, worked my way to the back of the room and herded them outside; I reclosed the door. As I returned to my task, I heard a noise inside the building. Yep, there was one more chicken waiting for an invitation to come outside. It was irritating.
A few months later, I drove into my neighbor’s yard to deliver a package. As I opened the car door, the chickens gathered around me. This was a much larger group than those who like to visit our yard. I walked to the house, chickens forming a circle around me, cackling and clucking as we walked. My neighbor wasn’t home and so I returned to the car, lecturing the chickens about their behavior. As I drove out, I was praying that our neighbor wasn’t home hiding behind the curtains. I would hate for her to be recording my discussion with her chickens!
Birds are just weird!
We spent one holiday with the kids in Illinois as they were in the middle of a move. To make things easier, John and I arranged to pick up a holiday feast from a local grocery store. The turkey was already roasted and the side dishes prepared; everything could be popped into the oven for reheating and serving.
Because the kids were moving, we planned to eat dinner on the floor in the living room. Our daughter-in-law had set up a buffet line on the kitchen counter and we were ready to get started eating when one of the very young girls started screaming. She had spied the roasted turkey on the counter. There was no way that she was going to eat that thing!!
I looked at the bird and totally understood what she meant. It is a little creepy.
But, our wise kids knew what to do. “We aren’t done getting dinner ready,” they said. “Give us another minute.” Granddad distracted the distraught child, while her mom put some meat on a platter, hid the turkey, and all was well.
It’s funny, but my main source of protein (not counting peanut butter) is chicken. Chicken as birds make me nervous; chicken as food makes me happy.
There are lots of things like that in our lives. I love the feel of fresh sheets on the bed, but I don’t enjoy changing the bed, making those hospital corners. I like the Wizard in the Wizard of Oz, but I am always disappointed when I see the man behind the curtain. I like watching an athlete perform, but I don’t want to think about how hard it was for them to reach that peak physical status.
We all have a chicken or two in our lives. Our frustrations or fears or biases aren’t rationale. (I have never been hurt by a chicken and a roasted turkey is delicious off the bone or off a plate.) The sad thing is when those frustrations or fears or biases hinder our lives or the lives of others. Why not trade in a fear for some new freedom?
- By being aware of our biases, we are able to change our actions and our reactions.
- Understanding our irrational fears and frustrations means we can edit our thoughts and our words.
- And, by recognizing that we have silly quirks, we are wise and loving enough to accept those of others.
Just a thought.
Jill (just one of God’s kids)
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)