Every year, Asher’s pre-school brings eggs into the 4 year old classroom. I’m not talking about eggs for baking or omelette making. These eggs sit under warm lights while the children count down the days until baby chicks hatch their way out. The children are told that not every egg will hatch and that in all of their years, there has never been a batch of eggs where every egg has hatched. But every year, when the teachers ask the children how many eggs they think will hatch, every child thinks all of them will.
13 out of 24 this year. Apparently a good number. The kids seemed very pleased. The excitement of having live peeping chicks in their classroom pooping on newspaper overshadowed the fact that not all eggs produced chicks. They also didn’t seem too concerned about the 2 chicks that were sequestered in their own box after a long and difficult birth. They’re not doing so well. The teacher told me that one of them took three days to peck its way out of its egg! Will these baby chicks be strong enough to survive? Time will tell. For now they’re receiving excellent care in their private ward: the Chick-U. That would be a play on NICU as opposed to a reference to the Seven Sisters Colleges.
Asher couldn’t wait to pull me into his classroom so I could see all the little chicken nuggets to be. It occurred to me that we could take a few chicks home. Fresh eggs! And, when they hit henopause, we’ve got dinner. If only we had the space for them to roam free. Alas, our lot is just not chicken friendly.
Very sad to report that there was one casualty outside of the Chick-U. A drowning-in the drinking water bowl. The pre-school director has not been able to determine whether it was an accident, suicide ... or foul play. Hey, Henny Youngman! Would you mind possessing someone else’s body? I’m trying to write here.
When I was in elementary school, not only did we experience the miracle of baby chicks hatching, but we all had the pleasure of taking a chick home for a week. It came with some twine attached to its leg so we could take it for a walk. No, I’m not kidding. We had to wait our turn for chick-sitting as there were more students than chicks. By the time baby chick came home with me, it had reached its awkward, teenage form and looked more like one of those rubber chickens in some clown act than a cute, fluffy baby bird.
It was u-g-l-y, and it freaked me out, and we kept it in the garage until I could bring it back to class. I do recall trying to take it on a walk once. Why my parents never took a picture of me walking my pet chicken down the road is beyond me.
The pre-school chicks met their public at the dedication ceremony of the new playground this past weekend. We didn’t spend a lot of time with them because Asher was far too interested in the juggler. She taught the kids a few tricks, and Asher was hooked. Circus school v. college tuition. Keep spinning those plates, kid!