maybe he just tried to sing – Eloise Klein Healy

Our Rooster, Xander

Xander, doing his thing.

We have this chicken.  For this bird’s entire life, s/he has defied definition. As a little chick, we thought s/he was a frizzle, one of those chickens whose feathers stand out.  Then, we decided s/he was not a frizzle but just a Plymouth Rock hen with feathers that liked to mature faster than the rest of our flock.

Then, s/he grew this comb that is this fierce red – of fire engines and morning sailors’ warnings – and s/he kept beefing up (if you’ll ponder the cross-species pun). Her/his sex became a question then.  We had ordered all hens from the breeder, but, well, if it was this hard to tell a chicken’s sex at 3 months old, we didn’t really hold it against the hatchery if they couldn’t do it in the first few hours.

One morning, I heard this raspy call from within the coop as I went out to free them for the day.  It sounded somewhere between a child’s shout and a whinny. . . and I knew instantly – that’s a crow.

And crow this dude does – we’re 99% sure this chick is a rooster.  Every morning, he sings out with either delight or frustration – he’s still an adolescent, so his voice breaks sometimes – at the dawn, and all through the day he bellows out with gusto.

It’s my favorite sound here just now.

Sometimes, I find myself wanting to be what everyone else expects me to be. I fall victim to expectations – a blog should do this, a writer needs to do that, a woman IS this – and most times, I want to be like Xander – our rooster – and just crow out who I am so loud that the cows on the farm next door can hear it.  I just want to sing in my own voice as loud as I can, bringing in each day as only I know how to do it.  Not because my way is special or better, but because it is who I was made to be.

I know lots of us feel this way – when we are pushed to build a “tribe” at the cost of what we really want to say, or are told we “should” write with these tools on these days at these hours, or are belittled and abused for being all of who we are in the world.

So today, take your cue from Xander the rooster and even when someone, even when people you love push you to write or speak or live in a way that is not authentic to the amazing, unique, powerful, beautiful person you were created to be, push back with your voice and your life.  Just be you and crow for all you are worth.

Have you ever been told to write a different way? To live a way that feels less than honest or authentic? How did you respond?


If you’re interested in reading more about our life here at God’s Whisper Farm, we invite you over to our farm site –