Homestead life is full of joy and serendipity. Each week brings a new Mother Hen story that surprises me about nature and animal instinct. As if she has a curriculum to follow, Mother Hen is teaching her chicks the ropes ... how to return to the nest each evening, how to scratch for food, how to hide from predators, how to flap your wings while running to get there faster. Today's lesson was how to perch. Less than 3 weeks old, these chicks are perching. (It took my chicks, bought from the hatchery without a mom to show them, over 2 months to perch.) When I went out this morning, there the chicks were -- one on the lower rung of the rocker and the other on the arm of the rocker, under foot of her watchful mom. That started my day with a smile.