Saturday, March 22, 2008

Where My Easter Peeps?

There's one thing I'm missing this Easter: baby chickens. Not marshmallow Peeps, not pom-poms, not milk chocolate chicks. The real thing.

One year, my mother, who does not like animals of any kind, especially in the house, bought my youngest brother and me two little yellow chickens and one baby duck.

You just have no idea what a crazy thing this was for my mom to do. We lived in a little three bedroom ranch-style house that was so small my mom would allow me to bring one toy into the living room. Before I could bring another, I had to take that first one back to my room. She wasn't being overly strict; it was just such a small house that a few toys here and there left no navigational space.

To this day, I still can't fathom 1: Lucille allowing live animals in the house 2: Lucille allowing live animals in the tiny house.

Anyway, what kind of mother-of-all indulgences spirit possessed her to allow the mother-of-all Easter surprises for me, I'll never know. But boy-howdy, I was one happy little girl, and it was a joy I've never forgotten.

In fact, for many years, as a teenager or even as an adult, I would go to the local Quality Farm and Fleet store each spring just to look at the chicks in the big metal bins. The smell of the chicks and their wood chips and food was wonderful to me. The heat lamp was like ready-made spring sunshine. Their peep-peeping was music to my ears.

Fast forward to 2001. I was helping in children's ministry at church. The lady in charge and I were discussing ways to convey the resurrection story. "Wouldn't it be neat to do an out-of-the-tomb/out-of-the-eggshell story?" I asked. Her eyes lit up. "If I would pay for the chickens and supplies, would you do it?"

My heart raced. At last I had a legitimate reason to ask my husband for a baby chick: "It's for the LORD, Honey!" The lady promised me she had a farm home for it to go to after the event. I don't think she finished the sentence before I was out the door to get me a chicken! I mean, to get Children's Ministry a chicken.

At the farm store, I selected one chick (it doesn't take that long because generally, their personalities and looks don't vary a heck of a lot), noticed how lonely he looked, then grabbed up another. With a cardboard box containing two chicks, I started through the check out when the young man looked quizzically at me and said, "Ma'am, you're gonna need some food for these chickens ....aren't you?" "OH ... silly me! Yes!"

I ended up walking out of there with food, a heat lamp, and more extras than you can imagine. Do chicks need teeny-tiny swingsets? Just kidding. But a $.99 chick ended up costing a whole lot more, but as I said, it was for the LORD!

The object lesson came and went, but the chickens stayed, as I secretly hoped they would. It turned out that here was no farm home, so I became the farm home, smack-dab in the middle of the city.

My husband built them a glorified doghouse with a roost, and I painted it like a barn. I added a mailbox and steps going into the door because they kept sliding down every time they tried to go to bed at night. I sat in the yard in a lawn chair in the middle of my flock and read. It was common for one or more to jump up on the arm of the chair and peer between the book and me to see what I was doing. It was hilarious.

I bought more chicks, fancy ones, Japanese Silkies, little balls of fluff that never get big, can't fly, and have afros on their heads and hinders. I had the best summer of my life. One of the best days was when I found that first little egg.

Since this is so long, I'll stop now, but here are some pics. I miss Esther and Lilly and Buffy and Daisy and Randy. I miss my peeps.

The End.


Kelli said...

THose are funniest looking things I've ever seen. Looks like they would be hard to leave :(

Southern Girl said...

Awww, what cute little balls of fluff! I got two bunny rabbits for Easter once -- named them Freddie and Flossie after the younger set of Bobbsey Twins. ;)

Melanie said...

A real, bona fide warm and fuzzy post. I love it!

Deena said...

So, let me get this wish to be "chillin' with your peeps"? LOL!! Well, you won't get a peep out of me...I'm too chicken to say anything:-)

But I loved your story..."It's for the LORD honey"...

Susanne said...

Those are the cutest things! I had no idea there were chicks like that. No wonder they took over your heart. They are just too cute.

Susan said...

Oh my goodness...what some people won't do for Jesus! This cracked me up and remindede me of a friend.

She was a teacher and hatched chicks with her kids at school one spring. She kept one. She loved it and took such care of it. One day, she lost a ring...and I don't remember how, but realized the chicken swallowed it. She had to pay for surgery to remove the ring from the chicken's stomach so it wouldn't the tune of $400!

I've never seen the fluffy ones. CUTE!

:-) Susan

Linda said...

Oh my goodness! Someone should submit that story to Reader's Digest or something! I asked my kids what they would do, and they said, "Kill the chicken!" Not me!

Fresh Girl said...

What adorable chickens!! I have no chicks either, but I did buy the cutest, softest blue duck today for my nephew. :)

annie's eyes said...

What fun you had both times to have little chicks and watch them grow. I can't believe you had an egg too. We had parakeets once and one laid an egg, so we put a birdhouse in their cage, and next thing you know we had 7 parakeets, but not before the mama went postal on the male and almost killed him--don't tell me there's no such thing as hormone rages, but enough about me! Great post complete with the cutest and most exotic chick pics I've ever seen.
Blessed Easter, Linda. Love, Annette

Mocha with Linda said...

Those are cute. . .from a distance! :-) I am way too citified! My kids' elementary school library used to hatch ducks and chickens every spring. The kids loved watching the eggs incubate and then seeing them hatch.

Glad you got your comments enabled!

Darlene R. said...

I love that story! So cute and I have a cousin named Randy and he has a daughter named Lily!

PJ said...

Really cute! (I will spare you my "down-on-the-farm" chicken stories!!) The Japanese Silkies really are cute -- even to a farm girl!!

Shan said...

Oh they are so cute.

The Mrkall family said...

I remember those chicks!!!!! I remember being in your room and playing with them. Of course we were surrounded by PURPLE and DONNY OSMOND posters! Did you catch the Osmond concert on PBS recently? I watched it briefly, (you were the Donny fan not me) and I thought of you. :-)
Life is busy here. We have 2 girls and I'm starting homeschooling.
Good to catch up with you, Linda.
Marsha (Jones) Mrkall

Ann said...

So very cute! I love those little fluffballs.

Melanie said...

I would love a peep. Just don't want the chicken. I don't have a friend with a farm, so I guess I will live vicariously through you.

Amy Wyatt said...

My husband says you almost had him convinced to go out and buy baby chicks for our kids for Easter. We both have fond childhood memories receiving baby ducks and chicks on Easter morning.
Hope you had a blessed Easter.

Erin said...

That is the sweetest thing ever! If I show my hubby this post, he'd probably go out and buy the girls baby chicks. And we just have no place for any.

Fully Alive...Ready to Smile

Susan said...

I remember you posting this I have to add that I think they look a bit like chicken versions of Zoe! They are all just so cuddly looking!



Darnelle said...

Oh I hadn't thought of those colored baby chicks for a million years!! Still remember my sister trying to catch a run-away with a bucket. . . That chick ran with a bandaged up little toothpick chicken leg for some time after that . . . they heal up right proper!

Ahhh, good times.


Cyndy said...

AAAAAND...what happened to your peeps? You left me you still have them? They are so cute, they remind me of this DVD you have to check out at Netflix, The History of Chickens. You will love it!

MoodyBlue said...

I would love a little chick. I have two things going against me -- 1) I live in an apartment and 2) I have a cat that would love my having a chick even more. Yikes!! Awww they are cute!!!