The Art of Being a Hen


by Ann Allen

One crisp fall evening a couple of years ago my family and I were on our way to the neighborhood fire station. On this particular evening the firefighters open their station to allow the gawky taxpayers to view the big engine and learn how to "stop, drop and roll". With any luck you may get to watch the death-defying firefighter climb a gazillion feet on the ladder truck. We watch, hopeful, that he will bring the moon back on his return (ala Eric Carle). Hasn't happened yet.

As we were crossing the grass to the station, my daughter mentioned something about "firemen". Since we have always favored gender neutral language at our house the term "firefighter" was more appropriate. Of course I used this opportunity for another of my "girls can do anything" lectures. "Do you think girls could be firefighters?", I casually asked. To which she replied "Mom, girls can be anything" she paused "except roosters"! I was struck with preschool wisdom!

From that evening on, this has been kind of a creed for me. A testimony of the spirit of women. To hell with being a rooster - we are HENS! Cock-A-Doodle-Doo!

© Copyright 1997 - Ann Allen. All rights reserved.