Keeping chickens has been quite enjoyable and even an enlightening experience. I enjoy reflecting on nature, the creation, and gathering insights into the mind of the creator. One thing I'll allow for is that, while the chicken brain is about the size of a pea and my brain and understanding capacity is so much larger, the creator of the universe must be so much greater than I, that I'm probably closer to the chicken than the creator. However, I'm thankful for not being beneath trying to understand the mind of God. After all, that is how wisdom is defined - becoming in tune with how God sees his creation and his plans for it. We are also instructed to seek wisdom, even better, simply ask for it and have it provided. So, without further ado, here is the wisdom provided through the raising of chickens. I would say that, in the five chickens we have, they display a complete range of personality. We have Esther, the farmer's pet, who is the happiest right under foot. She trusts me not to hurt her so much that, if I kick my foot, she doesn't flinch from it, but instead, looks for the earwigs I knocked out of the tree bark for her to eat. Then we have Rachel, who won't even approach close enough to take a tasty leaf out of my hand. The other three fall in between those two extremes. Interestingly, Rachel bullies Esther. The other three fall in line to make Esther the most hen pecked. I dare say, this is not my will for my chickens. I would that they would all get along lovingly taking care of each other as I take care of all of them. I would also desire that they all trust me to provide only good to them and feed them without harm, like Esther does. My wife especially doesn't like that our favorite, most friendly chicken gets picked on. Eating the meanest one or two to make it stop has been contemplated. I could, of course, intervene when chicken nature runs contrary to my will. I even have, on occasion, stood guard over Esther when she was being chased off the food for no other reason than she was eating it. However, how much should I exercise my dominion over the chickens. One question to wrestle with is, though I wish Esther was always safe and happy, would I prevent Esther from ever being pecked if it changed her personality? Would I (if I could) snap my fingers so my favorite chicken was never pecked if doing so meant that she never came to rely on and appreciate my presence. I would have to say no. I know the peck is fleeting but she enjoys the greater benefits of my friendship. She is the only one I can hunt earwigs with. A couple others catch on and benefit from the food source as well, but Esther has first pickings at the bounty as she pays complete attention to where I'm pointing. I wouldn't trade Esther's trials in the coup for the benefits she receives from dependence upon me. There is another facet to forcing my dominion on the chickens. As stated, I desire that all the chickens trust me so I could feed them from my hand. It might be possible to chase Rachel off every time she chases poor Esther. She may learn to fear pecking Esther by learning to fear me, fear reprisal. However, that's all she would learn and that's contrary to my primary will. I would have a chicken that only ever feared me and would never trust me to receive good things from my hand. Additionally, Rachel could get worse and the next step to enforcing my desire for a friendly coup would be to destroy the chicken. Some might say that's fair but again, it's contrary to my ultimate will to have all the chickens have the same beneficial relationship with me as Esther does. Rachel would never have a chance to take that yummy leaf from my hand. So I continue to extend my hand offering that leaf, even though she may never get close enough to take it in her lifetime. Esther continues to benefit from trusting me, even though she takes a pecking from time to time. And although sometimes I intervene with some protection over Esther, I continue to tolerate chickens being chickens outside of my will for them to provide the best opportunity for all of them to come into my will. Now, if Esther had a brain bigger than a pea, she might ask, "why do you let me go through that?" she might sometimes blame me for it which would interfere with the relationship we enjoy. And if I had a mind as great as God's, I might be able to make a chicken understand all the dynamics of it and continually restore the relationship to the enjoyable one of trust. Luckily, that's not necessary and we just enjoy hunting bugs together as she trusts me completely to point her toward good food.