Back in May I tried to describe the emerging characteristics of my newly arrived hens. I spoke of Rita as the great explorer and described her determination to grub up as many treats from the garden as she could find, while Sylvia and Dr Sattler – or as I used to call them, the flappers – spent more time bumping into each other as they panicked at every sound and movement. At the time Rita was the first to produce an egg and I derided the chaos twins for being too nervy and unproductive, just like me, I said. I must now take back this scandalous libel.
As in life, so it is with chickens.
Rita, who eschews the gold standard but conventional chicken feed I supply in favour of the garden buffet, has become a rather erratic egg producer, sometimes massive triple-yokers, sometimes nothing. On one memorable occasion she deposited a perfectly formed but shell-less egg on the paving slab just inside the gate. For the last week she has produced nothing at all.
Sylia and Doc, on the other hand, regularly return to the run to partake of their conventional repast, despite the glories of the garden lying before them. And they daily produce beautiful and delicious eggs.
How is this like life? Well, I too was in an incautious hurry to get out into the world, dumping out of school and rushing headlong into marriage and children. Later, as a single parent, I returned to education to gain a First Class Bachelor of Arts or, as I now like to think of it, an enormous triple-yoker. After the glory of graduation day this produced few material effects. What exactly is a career anyway?
About three jobs later began my headless chicken years, flapping this way and that across continents, scratching around in variously-coloured dirt. There were a few highlights, the occasional perfect egg, but probably far too many shell-less blobs and long expanses of total egg drought.
I recently graduated again, this time with a 2:1 Bachelor of Science. Oh and let’s not forget my post-grad qualification. Have I put all this expensive education to good use? You bet I have. I now have a glittering career as……………..a part-time administrator.
I guess what I’m saying here is that I am like Rita after all. I can’t be doing with the boring chicken feed. I have little tolerance for being confined and told what to do (I do this to myself enough as it is!). I want to scrabble about and find my own delicious morsels. The price is a failure to find comfort in the routine of work, an inability to rise up any organisational ladder, and an inconsistent supply of eggs. Oh but when they come they are glorious!