My unknown babies!
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been laying eggs in the midst of many others. It’s so tight that I can barely move. I have heard that it is good posture, down-to-earth posture. But it’s just cramped and smells. But I could endure all of that if it wasn’t for my babies. I lay eggs because I am a hen. My body does. I lay an egg every day. But I know more.
Actually, I lay eggs because I want to fill my nest. When it is full, I will sit on it and warm it so that life will come out of it, one day, you, my babies. Then I would see you grow up and, in the evening, when it gets dark, you would crawl under my wings to sleep peacefully and safely. That’s why I fill my nest, because I want to raise you, take care of you, show you what it’s like to be a chicken, to scratch the ground, to peck, to cover yourself with sand when it is hot to enjoy the sun. But what am I talking about? Even if you were born, you would be imprisoned here with me, in the midst of thousands of others. There are just too many, far too many, to know and befriend. And above all, there is far too little space. I don’t know if there’s anything out there, outside of the hall we’re locked in. It is quite possible, because when I look out it is bright and clear and warm, it seems. I will never know. Neither do you, because the worst thing is, as soon as I’ve laid an egg to which I want to add one, when my body is ready to lay another, then the first is gone. It goes like this day after day, so that I keep laying on and on. I feel how much it burdens my body to keep trying to fill my nest and yet not being able to do it. It’s getting harder and harder for me to just get up. I can feel my bones getting brittle, but I’ll keep going as long as I can. I do not lose hope that one day my nest will be filled. Then I will sit on it and after a few days I will notice that the first shells break, and you free yourself from your temporary housing. How nice it will be when you bustle around me, and I show you all the things that a chicken does. I would be happy to have you around, even in this stinking prison, but it doesn’t, never will. Still, I keep going. No, I don’t lose hope, but I lose the strength to lay more eggs. Nothing more comes. So, I just lay down and wait. There is nothing more to hope for, nothing more to dream. There’s nothing left to look forward to. It’s over. But not only with my hopes and my dreams, but also with me, because if I stop laying eggs, then people will no longer need me. Then I’m just someone who takes up space and eats up food. That’s why I’m caught, locked in a box and loaded into a van, with all the others who are no longer of any use. For a moment I still think that there is indeed something outside the walls of my prison. There is the light and the warmth and so much space. Why can’t we walk around there and build our nests where it is wide and warm and light? Why do they lock us up in those terrible halls where we have little room to move? Why are they taking our babies away from us before we even got to know them? Everything would be there to lead a happy chicken life, to be a mom and to take care of the little ones. Why are people so cruel without limits and take away everything you need for a real life. Everything? It’s so little, a little space in the sun to move around, a place to sleep at night and to be with the children. Is that too much to ask? But I don’t have long to think about it, because a few hours later I’m dead and I’ve never been allowed to get to know you. I have always loved you, awaited you with longing and hope that remained unfulfilled until my body gave up and I with it. But there wasn’t a single moment in this short life that I didn’t think of you. I just wish you were better off than me.