The head hen that was chased off by the rooster was back again after having gone missing for some 30 hours. I was hoping she would come back. A neighbor said that there was a terrible chicken battle going on during the night down the mountain a bit, perhaps with a fox. This is one great chicken. A survivor. Lightning quick. And she can fly. After getting her secured in her own coop just as the sun was going down, I called out for Laudie, but no Laudie. If it’s not one, it’s the other.
I was calling, whistling… nothing. Usually, her presence is instantaneous. But then… but then… I heard some plastic rustling around the corner, some slipping, sliding, hesitation, more rustling of plastic, a silence impregnated with frustration, more rustling of plastic. Curious as to what beast this could be, I went around the corner of the hermitage. This is what I saw:
This, you have to know, is incredible. This dog is totally afraid of heights. I think she gets vertiginous just standing on her own four feet. Perhaps that’s why she runs around bouncing off trees. She doesn’t know which way is up. So, Laudie has some new talents beginning to appear. By the way, that picture might give you an idea of the size of some of the logs I was tossing up in a pile, getting them ready to cut down to size a bit more, and chop up, and stack. Yikes! Some are in the many hundreds of pounds.
Anyway, all of Laudie’s antics are, apparently, in favor of having found a new doghouse underneath the chapel of the hermitage. Being underneath the “kitchen” (read: woodstove) didn’t count, I guess. This new spot is not very convenient, but she has to express her personality in all it’s new aspects. So, O.K.! Of course, that pile will be knocked down eventually as the winter continues.
Meanwhile, the renegade hen is still scared of her own shadow, of course. She’s been through quite a lot these past days. She’s so frightened that you might say that she is as chicken as a chicken, so to speak. But she’ll come around. She’s already eating out of my hand.
Now then, just to say: animals can teach us certain things, can they not? I think they can. All of God’s good creation speaks of God as Creator. And I think that that’s just so cool. Animals do the will of God regardless. But we have a choice. Some wish to be animals, with no choice, saying they want to be like that so that they can do the will of God all the time and not worry about anything. Sounds good, right? Nope. In this, they remove themselves from the love which involves free will. No, it’s much better to be fully human, with free will, with the capacity to choose in all love to do the will of God. That involves avoiding sin, and following the truth in all charity. That is a freedom which is so different from that of the animals that one might make a comparison with being shackled in some sort of fear and then being freed from it. Laudie is now free of her fear of heights. It’s like a different dog! The chicken (a chicken mind you) is already coming out of her trauma. And us? Can we get over our feelings of insecurity provided by, say, sin? Of ourselves, no. But with confession and prayer, looking to God in all simplicity, yes, we can. Love casts out all fear. The Lord is just that good and just that kind. A totally new lease on life, looking to Him who gives us life.