By Mary Brown – Gull Lake, Sask.
Springtime on the farm back in the ‘50s and ‘60s was a busy time for everyone. One day, my husband needed a hand to move some machinery from one field to another and I was the only help he had.
So, after chores were done, the children were on the school bus, and I was ready to go to his aid, I noticed a hen and a small brood of chicks coming from the trees. It was not uncommon for a setting hen to hide away her nest, however, all were doing well except one lagging behind with his weak “cheep, cheep.”
The morning dew made it chilly. There was no time to lose so I picked it up, brought it into the house, and put it into a tall brown paper grocery bag. I set it on the kitchen counter in the sunshine. Should be warm when I got back, I thought.
Well, it was about an hour-and-a-half later before I was home again and on opening the back door, I saw the paper bag on the floor. A check of the back porch and kitchen revealed no chick.
Into the living room I went. There was no chick under the chesterfield, the buffet, the radio stand, and as I neared the rocking chair in the corner, I noticed our fox terrier, Trixie, was having a nap. It was a favourite place of hers, and I discovered she had the chick cuddled beside her.
I scolded her a little and took the chick and headed for the kitchen. Trixie was excited and kept jumping up to the chick. What could I do?
I set the chick down on the floor. Trixie very gently opened her mouth over the chick and carried it to her blanket in the corner. She lay down and with her nose, cradled the chick close to her body and warmth.
If I hadn’t seen it I wouldn’t have believed it! The chick went back to its mother hen and her fellow brood. I had to keep them cooped up for a few days so Trixie didn’t decide to mother them all.
My granddaughter loved to hear about this and often asked me to tell her about the baby chick and Trixie.