Do you ever feel choked by a self-satisfied and righteous pile of feathers? As you’re trying to learn how to dodge chicken hawks and unscrupulous roosters, is there a hovering vortex of smothering-mothering in your vicinity? Do you feel hen-pecked, brooded over, and about to crack? Well, my little chickadee, you have experienced the Mother Hen.
I hesitate to use the powerful tool of personification in this way. I’m tired of certain celebrity politicians referring to women as pit-bulls and bears. Last I checked I was human, and that’s enough of a challenge without being thought of as a canine or ursine creature. But I am susceptible to Mother Hen-ness, and I bet you know some of these chicks, too:
- Prone to gathering her chicks and thinking they are the best, most beautiful chicks in the world, and must compare them to yours;
- Prone to ignoring the ugly ducklings, and dismissing them as not worthy, while promoting the roosters in her brood;
- Pecks and peeks into every one elses’ nests to see what’s hatching;
- Screams in alarm if she thinks a fox is in the hen house, or the sky is falling, but seems dismissive if you feel an acorn or two on your beak.
Good things about Mother Hens: They are protective. They are not shy about their opinions. You always know where they stand. And while you’re trying to dry your wings and get ready for flight, they make sure you think you can. Now don’t get your feathers ruffled. It’s tough being cooped up with a Mother Hen, true, but they are watching out for you, and want to make sure you don’t get scrambled.
And that’s not over-easy.