I am thankful for the gift of chickens.
It was about 4:30 when I stepped out to lock the chickens in for the night. It wasn't quite dusk and a few fowl remained outside as I rounded the barn corner. Upon seeing me, several birds hopped back out of the cage, hoping for a treat of bread or fruit, of which I had none. I dumped another helping of pellets into their pan and they obediently went inside. Eleven birds. Ten hens and a rooster. I count them every so often. I checked for eggs, found none, and headed back to the house. I'd been gone five minutes at the most.
We had just been whipping up a couple batches of frosting and getting out the goodies for building graham cracker houses. The fun was about to begin, but instead some kind of altercation had erupted in my absence and our holiday happenings suddenly over. I had missed the entire ordeal. I found myself numb, which is an all too often occurrence recently. There wasn't a chance to take sides even if I would have. I heard nothing, saw nothing, and knew nothing other than the fact that a few family members were missing and another several were leaving as well.
And to top it off, we get to try this all over again in another week when Minnesota comes to visit.