My Friend Thelma Is A Hen
My friend Thelma is a hen.
Thelma is an older hen here at the homestead.
She has seen a fair supply of her contemporaries pass to the great henhouse in the sky. Her most recently deceased contemporary companion was Louise who died of old age at the end of the cold season this year. Louise was provided hospice care in my living room where we communed as she quietly passed away in a comfy little box.
Thelma has more lighter colored feathers than the youngsters who stay in the henhouse out back.
Thelma has been granted permission to stay overnight, every night on the steps leading up to my second floor apartment.
She ascends to the fourth or fifth step toward sunset each day and hunkers down for the night. I pet her on my way by up or down the stairs... sometimes I sit a step or two below and pet her for a few minutes.
Each morning she makes her way down the steps and heads out into the yard to chow down on some bugs and some grass seeds and some plants. Sometimes my next door neighbors... who technically own Thelma.... toss out some corn cobs or other treats for Thelma and the five other hens who prowl the yard.
Thelma.. after taking a breakfast jaunt.... almost every day... comes back into my stairwell... and climbs all the way up to the second floor landing.... and settles in and lays an egg on my doormat... right in front of my door.
It is not the easiest thing in the world for a hen to climb stairs.... yet Thelma goes out of her way to lay her egg before my door.
Ya know.... it is things like this that make me cry.... the good kind of crying.... a simple little hen climbs up some extra steps and gives me an egg for being her friend... almost every day.