Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The Little Chick That Could



     Is this in our job description?  On Monday morning Kari and I arrived to the sound of a peeping chick still in its shell.  It had started pipping on Friday afternoon during our staff training day.  What a surprise to find out it had not hatched, but was still in its egg letting us know, "I'm here!  I'm here!"  Over the weekend I watched the live webcam assuming the worst.  By 10:00 a.m. Kari and I could no longer take it.  We asked Tami, our Communications Coordinator and chicken expert, to please help the chick hatch.  She gladly accepted the challenge as she had been drowning out the sounds of its cries with her headphones.  With a warm washcloth and a cup of warm water, Tami gently removed its shell careful not to tear the membrane.  Miss Abby, worried all night, came in early to help.  After assessing that all looked well, it was soon flopping around in the incubator.  It had yet to stand as its claws were curled due to a possible temperature issue within.  By the end of the day it had its first assisted drink and its little feet taped to flatten them.  I assure you, this was the humane thing to do.
     On day two, we all breathed our sighs of relief after arriving to the sound of chirping.  I came upstairs to find Miss Abby kneeling down on the floor like the mother of a newborn next to the birder cage where our little baby was resting, his neck crooked, his head still matted.  "Oh, Abby, you can see his little leg feathers!"  Throughout the morning he was given a neon green electrolyte mix to help hydrate him.  By the end of the day, Miss Abby was feeding him egg yolks (of all things!) as he was still too weak to peck his food. 
    Today he has been thriving on more egg yolks, water, electrolytes and vitamin E.  Each day our anxiety grows less and less.  I have to admit my own anxiety when it lies down to nap as I am soon reminded of the sleepless nights I endured for my own human child 13 years ago.  Now, it is as if I am an aunt watching while Miss Abby rushes to its side, feeds its, and make sure it has had a bowel movement.     
    Who knew that Kari and my first few weeks in the library would entail caring for a chick whose entry into this world was such a difficult journey?  None of us could have known that.  
    When I first came to interview at Grafton-Midview Public Library this summer, I came with a set of assumptions about the people who work here.  I had taken a five year hiatus from the library world and was teaching.  There were not many libraries I wanted to work, but Grafton-Midview was at the top of my list.  It wasn't simply the progressive nature of the library or the professional support the system provides for its staff, though these were really great reasons.  What has become apparent to me through our little chicken's journey up the mountain is that my assumptions were true.  The people at Grafton-Midview Library are wonderful.  Even though I have been away from the library world for five years, my co-workers and our little chick has me thinking...knowing... that I can.  
    Stop in to meet Kari, me (Katie) and our little chick (a blue cochin who still needs a name).