by Carrie Bornstein
(This post originally appeared on Kveller.com)
Sometimes life has a funny way of working itself out. It’s not that things are so drastically different as an adult than how I imagined they’d be, but looking back, I’ve had a few surprises. When I was a little girl and people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I confess I never said I wanted to work at a mikveh. As a native New Yorker, I didn’t expect to marry a Jewish boy from New Hampshire. And I never imagined that I’d have pet chickens. (Despite how it sounds, the boy from New Hampshire actually wanted nothing to do with having poultry on our property…)
About a year ago I started taking to the idea of having fresh eggs every day. I didn’t exactly need a bed-and-breakfast level supply, but I was intrigued by the back-to-the-land farm nostalgia I could bring into my suburban life (OK, I have no experience to warrant said nostalgia, but that’s besides the point). I visited my neighbor who owns more chickens than I’d ever seen in one place with the exception of a massive chicken hatchery on a kibbutz in Israel, and just couldn’t shake the idea.
Next thing I knew I was the proud owner of three baby chicks and, after many months of waiting, three bona fide, adult, egg-laying hens. I made lots of quiches, enjoyed discovering just how many chicken metaphors exist in the English language, and reveled in the fact that one of my baby’s first words was, “chick-ken!” as he pointed and chased them around the yard.
That all changed the day I got frantic phone calls and text messages from my husband, who found that our chickens were attacked by what we later discovered to be a neighborhood dog. I’ll spare you the gory details and photos, but suffice it to say that these girls took a good beating and we’re still working on nursing them back to health. We are hoping for the best but unsure what the outcome will be for one chicken in particular…
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Carrie Bornstein is Mayyim Hayyim’s Executive Director.