Some time ago, I wrote about how we rescued Marta from the bottom of the pecking order among our egg-laying flock. She lived in the woods for a while, making occasional appearances, while she recovered both physically and emotionally from the trauma her feathered “friends” inflicted. She has now taken up residence in our barn, and she remains a gentle and friendly bird.
We have discovered that Marta is at least partially blind. She responds to audible cues much better than visible. As a matter of fact, we occasionally startle her when we’re working in the barn. The other day, after helping my son, Isaac, settle his turkeys into their winter home, Marta was under foot during the process. I moved her to the other side of the gate so she didn’t get stepped on. I then turn around, and she’s nose-to-beak with our tortoise-shell cat, Patches. Just calmly checking each other out. Marta has allowed both of our adult dogs and one of our puppies the same privilege of up-close-and-personal examination.
On our little farm, we don’t typically encourage freeloading. This was a certain unnamed party’s concern once Marta moved into the barn. I pleaded her case, though, and she was given a reprieve. The icing on the cake is that my oldest daughter discovered where she is laying her eggs. Good girl, Marta.
I have occasionally wondered if Marta harbors any ill will toward her former coopmates. They were awfully hard on her–irrationally so. She doesn’t seem to hold any grudges as she pecks and scratches along the outside border of their confines. She might appear to gloat a little bit from time to time, but that certainly seems forgivable under the circumstances.
If only more of us were like Marta–willing to leave the flock behind when what they do threatens to destroy us. Willing to carve out an existence on our own, independently forging our own way. Willing to give back out of gratitude when we can and staying calm even when the circumstances are a little bit scary. Willing to not let bitterness change us into something ugly and unforgiving. Willing to take the high road.