sharing good soil

see Proper 10A, “the sower”

While I weeded the cutting garden just outside the kitchen at St. Aidan’s, the two black hens, the only ones left from our first flock, fussed at me from the other side of the fence. Unlike the rest of the chickens, these two allow us to pet them and pick them up. The larger of the two, the flock’s matriarch, survived a fox attack a few weeks ago. The fox tried to drag her through the deer fence surrounding the chicken yard but failed. She’s quite large. Afraid she was in shock we brought her inside and petted her, but rather than needing attention, she expressed her usual dignified interest in a piece of my breakfast toast, please-and-thank-you-very-much.

When you dig, all kinds of delicious grubs and worms appear in the soil. “Let us into the garden with you!” scolded Elise and Christabel. “But you’ll eat up all these important worms, my dears,” I answered. After a while, I noticed only one hen fussing at me – the other had found a way through the fence and was digging along with me. So I let the other matriarch into the cutting garden, and the three of us clucked contentedly as we weeded and scratched.

I’ve worked in dry, rocky soil and soil choked with thorns, and among preditors snatching seeds and young plants. It’s lovely to work these precious days in good soil, soil good enough to share worms and fat grubs with my friends.

3 Responses to “sharing good soil”

  1. deb blakley Says:

    Lovely. I have been right there with you, knees and hands in the soil, helping and hoping. We have good soil, easily worked but are in the midst of a drought here in Oklahoma. We water but it quickly disappears. There is no moisture below, deep in the soil, to come upward to meet the rain. It is heartbreaking. I am so happy that you posted these soothing words about your green and growing gardens and also you feathered friends. Mine too help me with my digging.

  2. Chris Says:

    There’s no friend like a chicken–or a worm!

  3. Kathy Says:

    … and I clucked contentedly as I read your beautifully written entry! Thank you for mellowing me out and brightening my day! 🙂

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