I spent this weekend doing my least favorite thing, fall clean-up. We typically rake the leaves six times during the fall season. This weekend was no different than any other year except for the occasional chicken that wandered by.
Since we have had a few hawks in the yard this week, I had tried to entice them back to their coop with scratch and their treat ball. I was worried that if I moved away from the girls, a hawk could swoop down and catch dinner. I had finished raking near the girls and needed to move on. Unfortunately for me, they were just not ready to go back. Instead, they were content under the gigantic rhododendron bush at the top of the driveway next to the garage. I kid you not, I think it is about about 25 years old and is about 12 feet wide by 10 feet tall. I could hear them underneath scratching at the leaves and calling to one another to show off their finds.
So nervously, I decided to rake about 50 feet from the rhododendron bush near their coop. As I was cleaning leaves and debris to the side, my neighbor who I had not seen in ages struck up a conversation with me. Distracted by our conversation that had gone on for about 5 minutes, I did not notice a little friend at my feet. It was Chocolate. He was scratching, puffing out his feathers and talking. It took me a second, then I realized. Chocolate was trying to tell my neighbor that I was part of his family.
I scooped him up into my arms, gave him a nuzzle and a thank you then gently set him down. He continued to stay by me. As he stood with me, along came the rest of his flock, no coaxing necessary. He has made it to top chicken. Although little, he has gained respect of all the girls. I was glad that much like a guard dog, I had a rooster by my side! Who would have thought? I now know that they think of me as part of their family.