Woke a bit excited and pulled on clothes fast to go check the new chicks in the barn. One was dying; seemed chilly last night, her tiny wings flapping to warm her, she cried and cried. We took her in the kitchen for warm gruel from her feed which she hungrily gulped but she wouldn’t stop crying though she quieted many times in my hand. Now she is still. Just too tiny to get her baby body to work right, I suspect. The runt. Blame self for not hand-picking the chicks; I wouldn’t have picked her but then someone else might have taken home the dying chick. Nature is cruel when she culls her babies.

Saw the African Cats movie yesterday at Boulevard. Unbelievably gorgeous, Kenya and the Big Cats. Hyenas are hard to love. The bit about the lioness who had to leave her daughter and the River Pride was a tear jerker, but we knew it had to happen – like this baby death.

Now we have 27 chickens and will blend the two small flocks when the babies are big enough. My much-petted house cats think the chicks are all right but don’t let a dog come onto the place or they freak. And today, after the house is swept and picked up, family will come see the flower garden and the wild flowers up the hill and how the fruit trees have grown over the winter and into spring. Somehow, this Mary Oliver poem through Larry Robinson seemed perfect this am:

Toward The Space Age

We must begin to catch hold of everything
around us, for nobody knows what we
may need. We have to carry along
the air, even; and the weight we once
thought a burden turns out to form
the pulse of our life and the compass for our brain.
Colors balance our fears, and existence
begins to clog unless our thoughts
can occur unwatched and let a fountain of essential silliness
out through our dreams.
And oh I hope we can still arrange
for the wind to blow, and occasionally
some kind of shock to occur, like rain,
and stray adventures no one cares about —
harmless love, immoderate guffaws on corners,
families crawling around the front room growling,
being bears in the piano cave.

– Mary Oliver