Our chickens were never actually acquired for their eggs. The chickens were originally meant to be like animal-husbandry training wheels for our children. The idea being if they could take good care of chickens, perhaps sometime in the future, our family could welcome a dog.

Four years later the dog is asleep beside me, the kids are dutifully in school, and before west-central Wisconsin is swallowed by a historic snowfall, someone needs to visit the chicken coop to collect eggs, freshen water and top off feed. When I write “someone,” I do so hopefully. I hope that “someone” remembers the chicken chores. But more often than not “someone” is me.