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December 24, 2013: Freebird, Chickaroo, and Metaphysics

In November, I was given two chickens by the people who run Sun Circle Farm. In the short time that I’ve had them, I’ve become quite fond of them. Freebird is a Copper Moran and Chickaroo is a Buff Orpington. Freebird’s name is such because she insisted on running free around the farm. And I named Chickaroo after another bird that once had the same name. As the story (told by my photography teacher) goes, Chickaroo # 1 was owned by a fellow who considered her to be his best friend. When he told the photographer this, the photographer said, what am I, chopped chicken?

The two are very intense birds. Sometimes I think that they’re reincarnated Greek philosophers. I once mentioned this to Freebird who shot back, NO, we’re not, nor have we ever been philosophers. We’ve always been birds, and will always remain birds. Sometimes, you gotta wonder. . . .

A Christmas card from Shannon and Bob -- Bob's drawing

Freebird: Brrrr, it’s cold this morning. Box is open.
Chickaroo: She’s putting in fresh bedding. In a few minutes box will be closed.
Freebird: It’s like hell around here on days like this.
Chickaroo: That’s reverse logic.
Freebird: What do you mean?
Chickaroo: Hell’s hot.
Freebird: How do you know this?
Chickaroo: Where you and I used to live, there were these Christian Fundamentalists running around like chickens with their heads cut off.
Freebird: So hell, it’s just hot?
Chickaroo: Not ‘just hot,’ it’s so hot that should you go there, your feathers will burn off and your flesh will become blackened.
Freebird: Being in hell is like being in an oven, right?
Chickaroo: Yes, but only it’s hotter.
Freebird: So hell is where bad birds are sent.
Chickaroo: Yes, hell would be where bad birds are sent, but there are no bad birds.
Freebird: I beg to differ.
Chickaroo: Beg to differ?
Freebird: Remember? There was that one bird at Sun Circle, where we used to live. She was a real wretch. She hated herself, she hated me, she hated you, she hated everyone who crossed her path from the day she hatched until the day she died.
Chickaroo: She was an unhappy bird. But she was not a bad bird, was she?
Freebird: You are right. She was just an unhappy bird.
Chickaroo: So do you think she should have ended up in hell?
Freebird: Well, I would not have wanted to spend all eternity with her.
Chickaroo: So do you think that you’re going to heaven?
Freebird: Yes I am. My bags are already packed.
Chickaroo: So what do you think that heaven is like?
Freebird: It’s not too hot, and it’s not too cold. And the grass patches are filled with worms and grubs.
Chickaroo: Back to the subject of hell. It’s hot. Here it’s too cold. If it isn’t hell here, what is it?
Freebird: This place that you refer to is a temporary situation.
Chickaroo: How do you know this?
Freebird: I don’t know this. Life is full of uncertainty. Death is full of uncertainty. The space in between life and death is full of uncertainty. Chicken Little was right. The sky is falling. However, I wager that it will warm up here soon.
Chickaroo: But what if it gets colder?
Freebird: I’ll bet you two cups of grain that the nice woman who cares for us will then take us up into the big house.
Chickaroo: She does seem like an awfully nice person. You know what she said to me today? She said that even if we didn’t give eggs that she’d continue to love us.
Freebird: That’s one that I’d rather not put to the test.
Chickaroo: Come spring, she will most likely let us run around outside.
Freebird: But of course, there are no guarantees.
Chickaroo: Just like our not knowing whether or not there’s a heaven or a hell.
Freebird: The man upstairs needs to have an open house.
Chickaroo: I can hardly wait.
Freebird: Box is closing.
Chickaroo: Time to rest up. Before we know it, it’ll again be spring.
Freebird: I can hardly wait.

Next: 284: 12/25/13: The Way it is