I'm in old lady mode tonight, not that there's anything wrong with old ladies of course. It's 5:45 on a Saturday night and I've just planted my bottom on the lounge ready to write the night away.
I've had dinner - an early dinner because youngest son was going to work, so I cooked early and I'm in my pyjamas because they're the most comfy thing to sit and write in. Hence old lady mode.
The house is quiet and empty because everyone is out or has gone to work. I allowed myself a momentary smidgen of guilt at sitting and doing nothing all night but writing and creating. Aren't these the conditions that busy, working mums dream of?
Actually correction, these are the moments all mothers dream of. Just a few moments of 'me' time. Of course the 'me' times get longer and happen more often once your babies are all grown up and living their own lives.
So I also have a dilemma at the moment, I'm dealing with a frustrating big bully who is making everyone around her miserable. Now I detest bullying in any shape or form and I am always the one who will defend the downtrodden and picked on victim. The only problem is on this occasion I'm dealing with chickens.
Yeah okay laugh if you must, or perhaps be relieved that I'm not actually being bullied, but I find it extremely distressing nevertheless. I know there's foundation in the sayings 'henpecked' and 'the pecking order' and I understand that this is the way of leadership and dominance in the animal kingdom.
But the defender nature in me just can't let it be. I've had chickens for maybe 15 years and I know they beat each other up but they almost always sort themselves out.
This time though I have two of my four chickens who have bald patches and blood and sores on their backs because of this bully. So youngest son and I stepped in this afternoon and the bully is now in a large cage for a couple of days to allow the others to heal - a recommendation that I found online for the best way of dealing with this problem.
Wikipedia tells me - dominance in chickens is asserted by various behaviours, including
pecking, which was used by Schjelderup-Ebbe as a measure of dominance
and leadership order. Pecking order is a basic concept in social stratification and social hierarchy that has its counterparts in other animal species, including humans.
Therein lies the problem with bullying, in society it's both expected and sometimes accepted but then also, every once in a while bullying gets out of control and someone has to be brave enough to step up and make it stop. So that's me - the super brave human being who's taking on 'nasty' chook and showing her who's boss.
As I write these words though I know they have a deeper meaning in my heart, it's that feeling of helplessness as you watch someone weaker or lower down the pecking order being treated unfairly and hurting as a result.
I watch the news as I write this post and the helpless refugees trying to flee their warring country with innocent children being subjected to horrible atrocities. As Australians we sit back and are both dismayed by the images and yet thankful that our country is not like that.
But are we any better? Almost every single week in Australia yet another woman dies from domestic violence and our government does little to prevent it and our police are powerless to act. Why are we not doing something more to prevent this happening?
In a perfect world every victim would have a voice and be safe from harm, whether they be refugee, embattled individual or chicken. The older I get the more I wish I knew how to make that happen. It saddens me that for now all I can do is settle for separating my chickens and keeping them safe from each other.
Hope you're staying safe and being thankful that you are, because I sure am.