Saturday, November 13, 2010

Algebra = Chicken Feed

The rains arrived at last and all things are washed free of the thick burden of many weeks of dust. The prairie, now radiant in her red gown, is dressed for the winter. These timely, natural events wheel in with the turn of the season and I deeply appreciate them. I never know what lesson the natural world holds out for me. It can be as simple as chicken feed.

The chicken flock was decimated this summer by mysterious death and unfortunate predation, leaving only three experienced and wise chickens alive: two of the Weird sisters and the matriarch Tenzing Norgay. The other chickens are babies, one season old to just a few months. Essentially, they are the surviving of the fittest. They must be fairly smart.

The babies only know that I throw their scratch under a certain tree. Yesterday morning in the pouring rain, I attempted to show them I was throwing their scratch under the front porch deck. When they saw me, they knew it was time to eat. They came running, chuckling and murmuring in anticipation. When they saw the bright yellow cup, they began sorting out their pecking order because the feed was about to fall. When I called them a short distance away so they could see the feed fall on the ground beneath the porch, they stood looking at me, muttering worriedly among themselves.

Then Tenzing arrived on the scene. She is the smartest chicken I know. She understands that scratch can be tossed just about anywhere on any given day. Surely Tenzing would understand and lead the others to their dry breakfast, but she was stumped, too.

It was simply too many steps in the algebraic equation for them. It exceeded their logic capacity. I well know that feeling. It is not painful to exceed the limit of my working brain capacity. There is only a roaring silence as I wait for the universe to serve up something I can handle.

Given N + 2 = 4, I can solve for N. Confronted with: 6<=a+2<=-8+10, I am exactly like my chickens: uuuuh?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You lost me at "algebra"
Or, are you smattering food for thought?
Either way, I'm with the chickens (if you recall, were the first to revolt at the 'Animal Farm')!