I have raised 3 batches of chicks.
The first time was in October of 2004.
Next was January of 2010.
This last time was February of 2014.
I consider myself a pretty darned good chicken keeper.
One hen from the original batch is still alive and still laying the occasional egg.
I kid you not!
You'd think that in 10 years of chicken owning that the eggs would become no big whoop.
In fact, the opposite is true.
The whole process fascinates me.
I know way too much about eggs.
It often leaves folks shaking their heads, "Why do you know that?!"
The fact is, I find eggs to be a tiny miracle.
A gift of the perfect food.
It requires nothing of me except the cracking of a shell and cooking.
I don't have to hunt, kill it or clean it before I cook it.
I don't have to clean, peel and chop it before I cook it.
The fact that they come from a docile, easily kept, domesticated animal only adds to my wonder.
I reach in the nest box and collect eggs every day.
Every day, I say, "Thank you for the eggs, girls."
It's nonsense, I know.
They don't care.
They don't 'speak' human.
I think it comes from something my father taught me when we were hunting.
"An animal gave it's life so you could eat. Thank the animal for the gift."
I sorta feel that way about eggs. That's why I thank the hens.
They could attack me and protect the eggs (trust me, a chicken can attack), but they don't.
In the photo above, you'll notice the eggs on the left is half as big as that on the right.
It is the very first egg of the newest batch of chicks.
It took me two days (and two eggs) to figure out that wee Harriot---all grown up now---is laying eggs.
Soon the other new girls will begin laying eggs.
I'll be just as thrilled when their tiny eggs begin to show up in the nest box.
Why does this "first egg" continue to delight me?
Is there something that delights you that befuddles others?
When the first hummingbird returns each spring?
When seeds pop through the soil?
When you hear a baby belly-laugh for the first time?