Harumi laid her first egg today. When Rosemary called to tell me the news, I felt the same kind of jolt to the heart and sting to the eyes that I felt when my son’s voice cracked for the first time.
The passage of time takes our babies away, and I think it is a rare parent who is completely ready.
This isn’t merely a case of baby grows up though. I looked at her egg and held it in my hand, and knew that to so many it would not be good enough. A first laying marks the beginning of a hen’s profitability to those who would gain from what is not theirs, and they would find our beautiful Harumi’s egg inadequate. A person clamoring for a breakfast of sunny side up or scrambled would scoff at just how poorly this egg would feed their appetite.
They wouldn’t see Harumi. They wouldn’t see the little chick who had grown into her yellow-green feet. They wouldn’t wonder how Harumi experienced the laying of her first egg. They wouldn’t cradle her egg in their hands as I did while feeling it to be a precious part of someone I love.
They would likely dash it to the ground in disgust.
I dashed it to the ground myself, but my intent was so very different. I gave her back her egg so she could eat it as chickens like to do. We don’t need her to be “economically viable.” We don’t need her to produce anything for us. We only want a life of health and comfort for her.
We will not take. We will only give. You’re safe with us, Harumi.
– Linda Nelson