Last week, I found a soft, shell-less egg in the driveway one morning when I went out to feed critters. It was freaky! The translucent egg-shaped globe was held together only by the soft albumen layer. I looked it up, and I learned that a shell-less egg means that some chicken around here is severely lacking in calcium, which isn’t just bad for the eggs she lays, it’s bad for her health. Well, I didn’t have to use telepathy to know which of our hens has a problem. It’s the one who refuses to eat the high-calcium chicken food we toss into the chicken yard every morning, because she and her rooster are committed to being outsiders. Y’all may remember our most romantic chickens, Adam and the Speckled Hen. It’s a May/December romance. She’s an old hen who’s been through a lot, and he’s a new rooster who’s just coming into his own. She is the lone survivor of a wild-dog (or maybe coyote) attack that massacred an entire flock several years ago when they were foraging in the woods. When we adopted the roosters Adam and Hoss, the Speckled Hen chose Adam and led him to roosting in the barn. This is technically against the rules, but honestly, they won the argument because they were more persistent than we could ever be. We could catch them and put them in the approved roost every night, but ultimately, it was a fight we weren’t committed to winning. The calcium problem is a big one though. When I feed Adam and the Speckled Hen anywhere outside the chicken yard, the dogs or the horses eat their food along with the gravel and dirt and rocks that are great for chickens, but mammals shouldn’t be ingesting. So I had a talk with Adam. I told him that he needed to be large-and-in-charge (because he is a big rooster) and bring the Speckled Hen close enough to eat some of the layer hen feed. Welp, that little effer did what I suggested, but his version of being large-and-in-charge was to follow me around and insist that I feed him and his lady in the flower bed (which at this time of year is just dirt). I give in. Just because I’m an animal communicator, that doesn’t mean I can get my animals to comply with my wishes. Mostly, it just means that I’m better able to listen to what they want and figure out how I can comply with their wishes. So, okay, fine. I’ll throw more chicken feed into the flower bed, even though that means you’ll be scratching up the happy, hopeful seedlings that will come up in the spring. I’m a sucker. Once again, y’all win.