A fondness of chickens

Miniature hand painted in a bottle with a right-angle brush. I bought it from the artist in the Hutongs of Beijing

A fondness of chickens 🐔

I spent several weeks in a far country in high summer living a couple of hundred metres from a fair sized chicken coop.

The sounds that rose and drifted in the dry air from the community of hens instilled in me a lifelong fondness for these birds.

In the midday summer heat, I’d watch them in the shade of their raised hen house.

They’d stand around, wings raised, letting the air into their armpits.

Their mild mannered, tolerant,  sisterly and peaceable interractions moved me.

I wondered at the reassurance and companionship which their casual clucking utterances might contain.

They’d scratch at the ground with evident curiosity, and unending hope.

I loved their quiet untroubled noisiness over the heat haze of one young teenage summer

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