Hatching Life

You should have seen my Shayna holding that egg and hearing it PEEP! I had no idea that they could peep even before they hatch! The mother hen had sat on the nest for 21 days. Her first baby hatched and as soon as it was fluff dried, decided to jump down to see what all the clucking was about. Mama Hen had to go protect her first born, so we got the job of egg-sitting!

She held a little brown egg and felt the chick bumping around inside. She's 3 years old and everything is exciting for her, especially new babies! The thumping in that egg reminds me so much of the wonderful thumping going on while carrying Shayna 3 years ago! We put the eggs in a box with a light to try to keep it warm enough. We were careful to not jostle them around and marked the top of each one with a heart. But this one got a heart with a crack through it because I knew it would be the one to watch for cracking soon! We had to leave our little nest to go to the next town to visit my parents and my sweet Grandma who has been ill. We didn't get home until 10:00 and found there were two tiny cracks in the shell. I told the kids it probably wouldn't hatch until morning but I stayed up just in case.

It was quiet until after midnight when I'd hear a tiny tap now and then. It would peck and push for a few minutes then sleep for 20 or 30 and start pushing again. Finally at 2:00am, I knew it was time and tried to get the kids up to see it but could only pull Dallin, who is seven, out of his bed. He and I knelt down on the floor looking into the little shoebox with a warming light, and we watched that little thing push and push.

I told Dallin how important it is that we not help the little chick to break free of it's shell. I told him how he needs all that time of pushing and pecking and struggling so that he would have strength enough to make it through the night. We talked about how that struggle would make him strong, like when we exercise.

It was amazing to be watching this all happen as if on stage with a spotlight. I told Dallin that it was kind of funny to be watching, but the chick had no idea we were there. About that time, there was one more push, and the egg broke in two and our sweet little pink, wet chick toppled right out! It still wasn't free though. It was on its back and its little umbilical cord was still holding him to the back side of the egg.

I really wanted to help that tiny, fragile baby to get rid of its entanglements. Then the thought came to me that Heavenly Father watches over us just like we were watching this little drama playing out before us. I told Dallin that Heavenly Father sees us just like this, going through struggles. Sometimes he seems to help us quickly, but many times He knows that the struggle is necessary for us to get stronger or to learn things that we'll need to know later in life, things that will help us. So even though we may not be aware that He is watching us and even rooting for us to be successful, he doesn't interfere. He knows us and what our potential is, just like we know that the little chick can make it out of that egg and will soon be growing and scratching and catching bugs and be a big chicken that will lay eggs of her own or a rooster who will wake us all up every morning. Our Heavenly Father knows what we will grow up to be and that the things that seem to be hard for us to do or to understand is an important part of life. He is always there watching, wanting to help us, but having the wisdom to know when to step in and when to let us get stronger through the struggle.

Even though I thought I was teaching Dallin an important principle, the Holy Spirit testified to my soul that it was true, and that it was truly a lesson for both of us!

Well, she's all fluffy now and peeping and thinks we are her mommies. She'll tuck under any hand that comes near her and get quiet, then wiggle her head through our fingers. I tried to get the hen to take her in, but she didn't think this little chick belonged to her. So the chick is ours to raise until she can defend herself in the chicken coop.

A new life begun, an indelible memory made with Dallin, and an eternal truth seared into my soul!

[ by: Shelly Duke, copyright © 2002 (sduke@tcworks.net) -- from '2THEHEART' ]


Inspirational Stories     SkyWriting.Net     All Rights Reserved.