I now have a recurring chicken dream. It always involves taking the chickens somewhere (which we have never actually done) and them getting lost. I spend most of the dream looking for them, and wherever we are, there are lots of chickens so sometimes I can’t tell whether I have found, say, Eleanor, or another Rhode Island Red. So I spend a lot of time walking up to chickens and saying, “Are you Eleanor?”
In this most recent dream, we were only able to round up one hen, and two others were mailed to us, alive and perfectly well, in a box(!), but Bess was gone. Somehow the dream fast-forwarded many years, and a knock came at the door. A teenage girl was standing there–not a tattooed, pierced, punk rock teenager, but a sort of 1950s, boarding school kind of teenager with honey-colored hair. She said, “I’m Bess, and I’ve been looking for you,” and we fell all over her, saying, “Bess! You grew up into a girl!” She had been raised by a family in Albuquerque, but she’d always wanted to come back here, to her old home.
I woke up before we could take her out back and show her her old bed in the chicken coop.