The Impasse

Betsy is an elderly hen. Pick her up and she is literally as light as a pile of feathers and old bones. But, she’s had seven years to figure out what’s what. She’s had seven years of being a determined little hen that goes about her business the way that she wants to. I used to take her on school visits. Unlike my other traveling hens, who settle down in my lap while the children pet them, Betsy made it clear that she would meet the students on her terms. She would stand on my forearm and gaze at each child as they reached over to touch her. Betsy has long been retired from such work, and she spends idle stretches of the day quietly basking in the sun and napping on the roost. But she still knows what’s what. In the morning, Betsy likes to stand at the top of the ramp, taking in the surroundings.



That’s her place. Betsy will not change her routine, not even for a rabbit that wants to hop back into the coop.

bunny and hen


The conversation is brief. No drama ensues. Betsy makes it clear what’s what.

the conversation


The impasse never lasts long. It is no surprise that Betsy continues to go about her day, exactly the way she wants it to go.



  1. Betsy has long been one of my favorites. Thanks for the great pics and story. It will brighten my tough day of testing in Texas.

  2. Bless her…she looks good for an old hen. Gotta’ love that attitude!

  3. LOL, I guess she’s forgotten that Phoebe was one of her only allies during Misty’s reign!

  4. It’s good to respect your “Elders”. She is a feisty little hen to be sure.

  5. I’ve learned in my work with dogs and horses that if you can make the other animal move their feet, or get out of your way then you are viewed as the leader. Good for Betsy for holding her ground, and her position!

  6. I have a cat that likes to play block the door as well, I have to get up and make the cat move, because Luna our chihuahua won’t go through the cat door unless I move the cat.

  7. I keep thinking about that first time Phoebe was introduced, the photo of Betsy with her wings all flared out was amazing. Interesting how different species can communicate!

  8. I so enjoy watching your chickens. Do I need your permission to copy your pictures.

    • Thank you for asking about permission to use my photographs. Sharing my posts and photos by the use of live links to my site is fine. However, reproducing them in any way requires permission. Please email me to discuss. Emailing is easy, simply click on the “contact Terry” box at the bottom right of this page.