The Ruby Gift

Day 193 of 365

Ruby has charmed Ron. She’s so difficult and somehow so completely charming. While she is no longer allowed to live in the garage since it is very cold outside and we have to shut the garage doors, she still roams around our property as she pleases when we are home. Today, Ron was outside building a winter “camp” for the chickens, and Ruby was hanging out with him all day. When I went outside to say hi, I saw that Ron had moved the dog crate out of the garage and into the driveway because “Ruby wanted to lay and egg and didn’t want to do it in the coop,” he said.

I took a peek, and there she was, completely satisfied with herself that she was back in her crate. She did lay an egg, which was great because we only got three eggs today.

But the best story was one Ron told me tonight. He said Ruby was on her gate tonight as usual. This is where she goes since she is reluctant to go into the coop, but she needs to sleep in the coop for safety and warmth.

She won’t do this for me. I have to scoop her up, which she complains about very loudly. But, for Ron, he just holds out his arm in front of her when she’s on the gate, and she will jump onto his arm. He carries her to the coop, and she hops off his arm.

Tonight, Ron said Ruby was hesitant. He said it was pretty dark, and Ruby was acting like she couldn’t see very well. So Ron held his arm out a little more to be better in her line of sight. And then he slowly moved his arm toward her.

He said that Ruby very slowly held out one foot and kind of reached for his arm. Then, she carefully brought over her other foot and adjusted her little feed to get a good grip. She wrapped her feet around his arm, which is such a cool feeling. He said he took her to the coop door, and she hopped off. He told her, “Good job, Ruby.”

When he was telling me this story, he said, “You were right about chickens. They are special, some even more so.”

This is true. They are all special, but some are extra. And when you meet those extra special chickens, the ones who just don’t do well with the flock, who connect more with you than their people, I feel you have to do your best to accommodate them. It’s not always easy, but, in return, you get to know a truly unique, interesting, beautiful being. It’s so worth it. And, after all, I know how it feels. I connect better with other species than I do my own people.

“Ruby’s a gift,” Ron said to me. “Like Poe was. Only Ruby has a very different personality, but she’s a gift like Poe was a gift.”

And this made me have tears.