I posted this shot on Facebook a few days ago of a chicken and it went down rather well. I was lying in an orchard and she hopped onto my leg for an afternoon snooze. So I thought I would write a piece giving you all a little context as to why this was such a special moment for me.
I need to take you back to the 1980s. I was the odd kid at primary school. Looking back I can see why, as many people probably still see me as rather odd, although I don’t feel an outsider anymore. I have found that when the ‘odd’ people get together we are actually all completely normal!
Elsa the Chicken
Anyway, to get back to the point of chickens, when I was a child my best friend was called Elsa, and she was a chicken. I didn’t have a whole lot of human friends, but I could always rely on my chickens to keep me company, and Elsa was, how do I say this… not entirely normal herself. She was kind of oblong, and had a tiny comb, and she was so extremely friendly. She would let me play with her for hours on end. She was one of those chickens you see on TV sometimes, or read about in magazines which ride bikes, goes on a go-kart and the like. I even used to push her around my village in a pram. Who needs dolls when you have a real live chicken!
Elsa and me enjoying life in the fast lane
I used to get home from school and run around the orchard looking for her, perhaps to catch up on sharing our individual days antics.
… and in the pram
I even took her to school once, for pet day. She pooed down my skirt in front of the whole school and I had to wear my PE kit for the rest of the day. I imagine it was all a bit embarrassing for both of us, although I can’t quite remember the exact emotions that were conjured up.
So, I have always had a really close connection with chickens. Elsa was a key player in my awakening on the shamanic path. See when I had a power retrieval in my early thirties, she was the guide who came to me to help me recover my lost power. Of all my guides, this clever little chicken came forward and helped me track them down in the Upper World.
It was that experience that led me to finding out what shamanism was, and ultimately training in and becoming a shamanic practitioner.
So when I was on my recent Embodied Relational Therapy diploma weekend, one of the two chickens there came to perch on my leg. It took me right back to remembering that I am being looked after, even now. I always try to make friends with resident chickens wherever I go. I seek them out and see if they want cuddles (which usually they don’t), or a piece of bread or cheese (which always they do). This time it paid of, and I felt like a true chicken whisperer.
I bet loads of you have tales to tell about how special pets in your life have helped you on your journey. I know I do, but I will just share the chicken one for now.
…. and one last thing, I named Elsa after the film ‘Born Free’, about the orphan lioness cub who was hand reared and then released back out into the African savanna. The synchronicity hasn’t passed me by.
Here are some more chicken whispering photos to make you smile!
Elsa on the bike
Elsa and me at hay time
More recently… Mildred our most recent chicken and me, the day we tried to rehome her as she was on her own with us and we (wrongly) thought she would be better off living with other chickens. She lasted 48 hours and was then back with us!
Mildred looking her very best at Easter Sunday this year
Mildred ‘helping’ me make drums
Mildred joining in on one of our The Way of the Buzzard meetings