We have nine chickens, most of whom don’t have names. Because you know… once you name it, you tend to develop an attachment. But occasionally one shows its personality or does something to earn a name. About a year ago we added a Leghorn to the flock, our only one and only all white chicken. She was easy to get in the coop at night, so my husband affectionately named her ‘Lil White Dove’. She was a great layer; a good hen. One day she disappeared, an unfortunate consequence of free ranging.
I was in denial for a couple days, certain she had just “not come home last night”. Perhaps she had a nest of eggs under the shed to hide her eggs from our swipe, like the ducks are smart enough to do. Days lapsed and so did my hopes. About a week later, I looked out the window one morning and there she was! What joy! I quickly called my husband to share the happy occasion, and was stunned by his response: “That’s not Lil White Dove. That’s one of Bobby’s chickens, she hitched a ride under his truck this morning.”
Umm, come again? What fortitude, ambition and pluck… to risk so much on a mile-long drive under a truck. So many questions…. Was she curious to know where Bobby, our ranch hand, went every weekday morning for a few hours? Had she heard about Dos Brisos, the luxury ranch resort next door, but got sidetracked and settled for our place? Did she somehow know Lil White Dove had disappeared and saw the opportunity to slip into her place, mostly unnoticed?
Bobby was sure his Leghorn would jump on his truck and come home with him that day, maybe the next, or one day soon. But that still hasn’t happened, and we’ve all accepted it. We’ve offered Bobby a two-fer deal, promising him two of the 3 day old barred rock chicks we picked up this week, and are currently thriving under a heat lamp in our master tub (too cold outside). We’ve named her Baby, pronounced BAAY-bee. That’s another story …