“Now is the winter of our discontent.” So begins Richard III by William Shakespeare. No, I won’t turn this into a post about iambic pentameter. However, I will tell you that here at 1840 Farm, the year 2011 began in much the same way as Shakespeare’s epic masterpiece. We are deep in the discontent here. Knee deep. It’s a good thing we’ve got wellies.
The door swung open and I had a pair of two eyes staring at me. It was Marigold the Barred Plymouth Rock. She didn’t care that it had snowed all night. She didn’t care that I was tired of waking up to several inches of new snow each morning and shoveling my way to the coop. She only cared that I had apples and celery and fresh water. I guess it really is that simple.
Once we had run through our morning routine, I trudged back to the house. I turned and looked at our coop. I had to admit that it looked beautiful in the freshly falling snow. Maybe I would have to take a cue not only from our chickens but from Shakespeare’s Richard III himself. I would have to find a reason to revel in my discontent. I would have to remind myself that while not perfect, my winter chicken-keeping reality wasn’t so bleak. Yes, it was winter, but we were keeping chickens. We had worked hard during the last year so that chickens could live on our farm. A snowy winter was just part of our new routine.
I know that winter will keep me away from my beloved garden and chicken coop for several months while the snow flies outside. Perhaps I should spend my time confined indoors this winter reading Mother Earth News and Grit magazines, researching an appropriate breed of heritage rooster to add to our flock. Then the really big decision would have to be made. Should he be named Richard III or William Shakespeare?