We have had the opportunity to watch some of our animals become Mothers. Ironically, the animals here view motherhood as a privilege. They are just animals, but have knowledge that too many humans lack. My favorite animal mother was Hoppy.
Hoppy was a crippled chick that wanted to live the best chicken life that she could. Hoppy went broody one hot July. She took eggs from the other hens nest and set on them. There was only 1 egg that belonged to her in that small clutch. Hoppy set joyfully; it was her goal to become a Mother. She watched the other hens lay their eggs only to walk away from them.
Hoppy set on her small clutch of 5 eggs faithfully, despite the oppressive heat. We did our best to keep her as cool as possible and fresh cool water was kept nearby for her. One hot August day I heard peeping coming from the chicken pen. A Dominicker chick hat hatched, this was obviously not Hoppy’s egg.
It did not matter to Hoppy, she was a mother now, and her dream had finally come true. Hoppy was so proud of her chick, it would be the only one to hatch. Hoppy cared for her baby, and you could see the pride in her eyes. She was a Mother now and she had an opportunity to give the love and guidance that a chick would need to live a successful chicken life.
The baby chick grew quickly. Hoppy knew that her job had not ended as soon as the chick hatched. There was still work to be done and she would finish her job as Mother. The weather began to grow cool and one cool evening, I found the small Hoppy sitting close to her almost grown and rather large baby chick with a wing stretched over him to keep him warm. Hoppy remained a devoted and dedicated Mother for the rest of her life. Her role may have changed as her chick grew, but she had adapted to each change.
We can learn from Hoppy’s example. Hoppy knew that she didn’t need her egg to be a real Mother. She did her best and took care of her chick. Happy Mother’s Day to each Mother that worked hard and cared for their little ones, you knew the work and dedication required to raise young ones even if they did not belong to you.