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Consider this quote from Abe Lincoln

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."



     It is no secret that I’m a farm kid who descended from generations of farm kids. When most people think back to their time on the farm and the people who taught them the most, they generally think of Dad or Grandpa and learning agricultural secrets from years of experience. Often however we forget the farm women who really kept things going, not only feeding and clothing the family, but many times serving as bookkeeper and farming themselves.

     Today those of us farm kids who are no longer able to farm, do so in our own ways, whether it be gardening or raising a few head of livestock. In the tradition of my ancestors and in order to hand down just a little bit of the appreciation I learned to my son, I decided that Max and I needed to raise some chickens. They seemed the easiest to deal with and show what would be considered a quick and constant return on investment which would be important when trying to fight Harry Potter and IPod for the attention of a ten year old city kid.

     As you have read here, early this spring we went to the farm store and picked out eight of the cutest chicks we could find and brought them home to spend a few months living in my kitchen in a wood crate. After their first few weeks living outside in the chicken coop, one night some unfriendly forest creature decided to embark on the great chicken massacre and Max and I were left with one odd looking black feathered chicken we lovingly named “George the post-traumatic stress syndrome chicken”. For the past few months we’ve excitedly watched George grow up and waited and waited for him to lay an egg.

As sometimes happens around here, the unexpected occurred and suddenly George had five new friends to play with as we extended his pen and welcomed five ducks to join the party. George was instantly interested in these new friends and tried hard to make their acquaintance as he would follow the ducks around and around the pen. Of course George could have been called Rudolph for as much attention as the ducks paid to him. But in true Weesner spirit George didn’t give up and changed his tactic and began herding the ducks as though he was a sheep dog chicken which was pretty darn enjoyable to watch.

     Worry began to set in as we went out every day to lift the egg lid of the coop only to find the nesting boxes empty. A different feed and a few oyster shells and still no eggs made the worry only intensify and we began to worry that George really had developed a complex over his name. Then suddenly it happened and we noticed George enjoyed sitting quietly on the top of the duck shed that was covered with an old woven blanket. I came home from work one night and there in the folds of the blanket on that shed was a small brown egg. There was rejoicing that day although we still can’t get him to actually lay an egg in the coop, but find an egg on his “chosen” spot every day.

     One of the gentlemen from church hearing of George’s loneliness brought out a couple of old hens that he had and thinking that George would enjoy the company we put them in the pen and watched as they settled right in and began to lay eggs as well, this time in the coop! I had thought this would be the end of the issue and then came home one night and was unable to find George. I looked and looked and called for him but no answer. Since it was dark, I thought that maybe he had found a spot somewhere in the pen I just couldn’t see so I went inside and went to bed. The next night I got home earlier and did some investigating only to discover that now George has gone from chicken, to duck, to sheep dog, to egg layer and now has decided he is a chicken hawk and has begun roosting in and old tree at night. He has his special branch and we will see how long this behavior lasts before he decides to get in somewhere warm at night.

     So to all those generations of farm women who took care of the chickens, I thank you for the knowledge you handed down and for my renewed enjoyment of having a small flock to keep me company, although I may have to start giving away eggs soon as I can only eat so many hard boiled eggs in a week.

See you next week. Remember, we’re all in this together.