We keep a mixed flock. We have standard sized hens and bantams. Silkie Bantams to be exact, as we like to call them-our Chinese chickens. The standard girls are big and bossy. They are always the ones jockeying their position for food, treats and human attention. The little Silkies, all four of them, tend to keep a bit back. They don’t mind. They are completely content not taking center stage in our menagerie of chickens. It is almost as if they are a mini-flock within the larger flock. Sometimes, with all the brouhaha of Oyster Cracker continually jumping into my lap with an insatiable appetite for attention, Tilly chatting up a storm, and the chaos of treat time the Silkies are easy to overlook.
Our three year old Silkie Hen, Dolly, has long time been one of my favorite girls. I know I shouldn’t play favorites but this little lump of fluff has found her way into my heart. I’m not quite sure if it is the way she mothers so beautifully or the gentleness about her. She is patient. She is kind and she is wonderful with the kids. She is giving and generous and keeps an eye out for the other Silkies. I have never told the kids about my personal feeling about her and the girls. I didn’t want them to know that I secretly had my favorites.
Yesterday I had my eldest go out to the coop to let the girls out, toss in some scratch and check for eggs. When he came inside, as the soon to be aloof double digit kid could only share…”You know Mom, I never realized this, but Dolly is one of my favorite hens.” I could feel my heart smile.
My heart was smiling because to a boy whose life is consumed with school, his peers and the normal pressures of growing up has taken the time to notice our small unassuming, easy-to-miss little hen. Sometimes it is the little things in life that really make the biggest impact. Love knows no size. Love has no boundaries except those that you place on it.
Photo Credit: Tilly’s Nest