True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


....continued from previous post: BUDUP
Though Lucy was getting a little tired of Hatsy's obsessive curiosity,

she graciously tolerated my own annoyingly frequent attention.

When I wasn't out snooping around her coop I was snooping around the internet reading up on any and all chick-hatching topics.
I read that the chick actually starts peeping inside the shell a couple days before hatching. So of course out I went, into the night.   I reached under Lucy, found the warm egg and put it to my ear.  
The next night I read that if you tap on the shell it will tap back.  
So out I went again,  to sit in the dark under an umbrella in the rain with an egg to my ear.

I tapped.

I heard it -- a little tap-tapping inside.  I tapped again.  Chick tapped again.
Morse code?

Gave me shivers.  I gave Lucy her egg back and pranced home smiling.

Bright and early the next morning:


Chicken-folk call that first little hole  a pip.

This was it - this was the day.  Lucy showed no excitement, just the placid determination she'd exhibited from the start.    
I left Lucy and the egg for an hour or so, then returned.  
Nothing new. 

An hour later, I went out to check.
Nothing new. 
I guess fluffy little chicks don't just pop out of eggs like they do in cartoons.
I gave it another hour.

My  art students would be coming soon for one of my summer studio classes, so I headed out to check on the egg one last time.
I carefully opened the nest box door, and 

the egg rolled out, fell about two feet onto the hard ground, and cracked.

Inside the egg, our baby screamed.

I picked it up. Cupped my hands around the cracked shell. Broke into a sweat.     
I heard laughter and  looked up to see four little art students marching toward me across the sunny lawn.  
I had to act fast.

Lucy was agitated, I was shaking, the egg was screaming, I placed it back in the middle of the nest, shut the door, wiped my brow, and rushed to my students. 
"did the egg hatch yet?"   
"nope, not yet--  let's go do art! "

I tried not to faint as I herded them away from the coop and into the house.

. . . . . . . . . . Next blog entry:  EGG EMERGENCY

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