I had a little 'ah ha' moment this morning and thought it was worth sharing.
When we saved our sista's at the beginning of the month, there was one little girl who was in a terrible state. She had barely any feathers on her at all and I must confess I wasn't sure that she would survive. She was definitely at the bottom of the pecking order and was continually pecked by the other hens. So much so that she decided she needed to be up high, away from the rest of the hens.
She took it upon herself to sit in the window space and then moved herself onto a timber ladder we put in the hen house as a perch. She would sit on the ladder SO much that it soon became very obvious that I needed to help her eat and drink. I named her Ladder Lady and decided I would do everything I could to help her. Many times throughout the day, I would go and check on my Ladder Lady. She would sing me a beautiful song as I gently lifted her down off the ladder and waited while she had something to eat and drink. The other hens, seeing that she was so bedraggled would instantly come to peck her, letting her know that she was 'less' than them. It made me sad but determined. I did all I could to help her recover and build up her strength. I didn't care if she never laid an egg, I just wanted a better life for her.
After weeks of caring for my Ladder Lady, I was beyond excited to see her slowly start to grow new feathers and just last week, she came down off her ladder more and more each day and eventually joined the rest of the hens in their daily dirt baths, pecking of the bugs, eating and drinking - all without being picked on or pecked by the other hens. She looked so beautiful I don't think they recognised her anymore.
This morning I spent some time thinking about my Ladder Lady. I wonder, did she know that all she needed was some time away from the flock to heal? I wonder if she knew that she would bloom and be almost unrecognisable after some time away from those who wanted to pick on her all the time? You might be thinking, she's just a chook, but really, there is a lot we can learn from my Ladder Lady.
I think we could all learn that it's OK to take some time out and self care when we are feeling a bit bedraggled. I think we could all learn that you just never know someone's potential just by looking at their outer appearance. I think we can all learn that time is a wonderful healer. I think we could all learn that it's OK to trust and let someone help us when we need it too. Ladder Lady trusted me to care for her until she was ready to care for herself. She has taught me all of these things and more.
Ladder Lady still sings her song to me every time I go and visit her, I think now it's a song of gratitude, either way, I love to hear her song, it's different from the others - and different is good. Let's all take away from Ladder Ladies story that it's OK to sit up on our ladder, sing a quiet song and allow help from someone when needed. Let's remember to care for those around us because we just never know what beauty will shine when the pecking and bullying stops. I'm grateful for my Ladder Lady and her lessons in self care...