So many people have asked me, why I do what I do. “I mean having chickens can’t be exactly easy?” they would say. Or they would ask me what it takes to have chickens and what sort of things one learns…
I learned it takes a lot of dedication to have healthy chickens. It takes a lot of tenacity. My Great Gran would have called it “Bullheadedness”.
I had a lovely opportunity this past month to clarify to myself, why I do what I do. We had an abundance of eggs sitting in the refrigerator, which is kept only for eggs. Well, it was full. Time to give away those eggs to some lucky recipient or recipients. My art class was the forum I chose for distribution. I really like to share things with people. It makes me smile, and I knew the folks would just love the eggs, if they liked eggs at all.
It sounded like a good solution to my over-egged population, and it would make them smile. All good! They were all so kind and happy to get the eggs as they took them home. I just beamed with joy at sharing them. I figured that would be the end of it really. They were happy. I was happy… It was a Win-Win situation. Then I promptly forgot about it.
A few of the folks wanted eggs again, so I began taking the eggs to class for those who now loved fresh yard eggs. Outside of the happy sounds of Oooo’s and Ahhh’s association with getting more fresh eggs, I really never thought much about the egg-share day again.
We usually have a few minutes before class starts to visit and chat with each other. In this time frame a sweet little red-headed lady stopped me and began excitedly talking about the “eggs”. I was giving her my attention but I just thought she was going to rant about how delicious they were and honestly, I didn’t think she wanted more than that. I nodded my head as she went on to say, “I can’t eat eggs, but my dear husband loves them and I knew he would cherish them, so I took your offer of the eggs hoping he’d enjoy them”. I thought she was done, and I said, “I’m happy someone in your family liked them” with a gracious smile. Then I made to move off, and she grabbed my arm. “NO! Wait!”…”huh?”. What dear? I said to her. She was intense in her gaze and I knew this was important, so I stopped and gave her my whole being, just listening.
She went on to say, “I’ve been allergic to eggs for years and years. I can not eat eggs. In a manner of minutes I am violently ill”. I nodded, still listening. I ate one of your eggs! Her eyes were the size of silver dollars, widened with such intensity. Then I waited! Nothing happened! No cramps, no illness, no violent reactions. Nothing… Then I ran back in the kitchen and I cooked two more of your eggs, then ate them! Still Nothing… I wasn’t sick.
By now, I’ve got goose-turd tears in my eyes and we are hugging each other in the middle of art class. She wasn’t sick!! She can eat EGGS!! Just not the crappy store eggs. A light had come on in her life and now she knew, it wasn’t the eggs making her sick, it was what happened with supermarket eggs in the store which made her sick. Not that the store did it, but those eggs they sell; They made her sick. I did go on to explain to her that the egg farm chickens have growth hormones and antibiotics and other chemical treatments. Perhaps they were what made her sick. I did none of that to my chickens!
That had to be it! Oh my god… My heart just swelled with happiness. I cried all the way home after class. I found my answer… “Why do you do what you do?” I make happy healthy chickens, who lay happy healthy eggs, to help folks be happy healthy people. That matters to me. Making a difference… It’s why I do what I do.