I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.
Evil requires the sanction of the victim.
I used to bite my tongue and hold my breath
Scared to rock the boat and make a mess
So I sat quietly, agreed politely
I guess that I forgot I had a choice
I let you push me past the breaking point
I stood for nothing, so I fell for everything
You held me down, but I got up
Already brushing off the dust
You hear my voice, your hear that sound
Like thunder, gonna shake your ground
You held me down, but I got up
Get ready cause I’ve had enough
I see it all, I see it now
I got the eye of the tiger, the fighter, dancing through the fire
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Louder, louder than a lion
Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR
Oh oh oh oh oh oh
You’re gonna hear me roar!
Katy Perry, “Roar.”
It all started in the Summer of 2012. After being gifted old layers, and two undetermined young roosters, there wasn’t much in the way of actual egg-laying going on around here. So, I sent the hubby down the road for three young hens in hopes of baby peepers in the spring. And Miss Peabody sat. And sat. And sat on the eggs. Turns out, the remaining rooster (we gave the second away) was, well: very uninterested in females. Which is all well and good, and even amusing, under normal circumstances. Nary an egg was fertilized–nary an egg hatched, and strangely and without much pomp or circumstance: the hens killed the rooster. En masse. It was horrific, to say the least.
Sigh. Apparently, the animal kingdom is not very invested in those who don’t pull their own weight.
After a *free-ing* of the old hens, the burial of the resistant rooster, and a *come to Zeus” meeting about the cost of feed versus the number of eggs, we decided: chicks! back in late April. Twelve, to be exact. And it only took five months to figure out we had three roosters: #1. Not so friendly to people, very protective of flock, non-aggressive to his own kind. #2. Murderous bastard, hated people, killed an Araucana young laying hen, attempted murder daily. #3. Violent to EVERYTHING chicken-related, loved humans. All were Araucanas, so breathtaking in their feathered beauty. And so . . . we attempted to move #2 into the adjacent coup with the three Americanas–all black–and watched in horror as he wrung their necks and went for the Hubby’s gonads. That was all it took–the hatchet was sharpened and SFW learned lickity split how to gut and clean a rooster. (He’s in our freezer, awaiting a special day.) It was self-defense. I can sleep at night. After all, we are not raising pets, damn it. Until . . .
#3 went on a blood rampage. After “starting shit” with #1 (horrible losses there, no rooster pushes around #1) and an attempt to open Miss Peabody’s neck in Coup Two, the issue of judgement was on the table. And here’s the problem:
He’s sweet. He cuddles in your arms. He nuzzles and coos and APPARENTLY thinks he’s of the canine variety and would like very much to live in your house, thank you very much.
Damn it. Houston, we have a problem.
We spent the rest of the evening asking for takers, to no avail. And then, quite out of the blue (apparently we were too close to the situation and exhausted) it occurred to me: CHICKEN TRACTOR.
A home all of his own! Helping in the garden gobbling worms, moved from site to site (pear tree, blueberry bushes, corn field) as a an independent agent. It didn’t take a month of Sundays for me to get the bright idea of a LARGER movable tractor, or the private run alongside the coops. And in the end?
He might have gotten the better deal than his co-chickens.
I would love to imagine that he somehow knew this and plotted for his individualism–but that’s not chickendom. The boy got lucky. And is it fair?
Well, hell naw, it ain’t fair. If it were truly fair, he’d be living out in a gated wood, free from predators and gulleting all the corn and fresh herbs his beak could garner. If life was fair, #2 (according to what HE thought was fair) would have been allowed to murder everything in feathers and still get fed instead of chillin’ in a deep freeze. If life were fair, #1 would have his flock to himself and not have to put up with upstarts like #2 and #3, nor would there be hardware mesh around his home. And all of this brings me to the point of this post:
Fairness. (cracks knuckles) Let’s have a sit-down about fairness.
(I SO want to do a joke here about Fairness and Karma walking into a bar. Damn it.)
I reckon the hardest lesson I ever learned was on this subject, right here. I hollered NOT FAIR! from the time I was born and nary a time did it change anything. It was almost like there wasn’t a magic fairness fairy in the air giving a hot damn. Go figure? Last week, I put this meme up on my FB civilian page:
I knew what it meant to me: that expecting the world to be fair will land you in a victim’s position. That you SHOULD be fair, but not as some form of exchange rate. That being fair is it’s own reward and its private, rare and even spiritual. That the world will rarely pay you tit for tat and that expecting it to do so can get you eaten. Like that. Most folks got it. One? Lost her ever-lovin-dog-shit on me. I was accused of racism, communism, “bullshit,” and aggression to name a few. Apparently, I’ve killed Santa and fairies and faith, all in one fell swoop. Damn.
And probably would have answered that FB friend a little more, um, nasty if Rooster #3 had not taught me a lesson. (Although, I chewed her ass up but good.)
You see, for him? I’m the lion in this meme. Most assuredly, I’m the lion. (And I have no goofy ideas that he somehow “knew” his brother ended up in the freezer. Nor do I identify him with an actual human being. Pfft.) But, at the end of his day, I was as fair as I could be–considering the rules of order in my home, my land and my understanding of the universe. But from his perspective? He should have run free in an utopian universe void of coyotes and laden with herbal goodness. See how this works yet?
Let’s try it another way.
Should the world be fair? DUH. Is it? Um, hellllllooooo? I work a full-time job, two part-time jobs, my hubby works one full-time and one part-time. We are, well, poor. With no parents to pay for our educations, give us land or even a coffee pot, we are doing the best we can within our circumstances. We love our kids, give to whomever we can, treat our land and our animals ethically and worship with fervor. Is it fair that we don’t have the means to send our kids to college? Hell, naw, it ain’t. Is it fair that we struggle while others wallow in their money, hiring maids and taking vacas as if there aren’t starving people in the world? Hell, naw. It ain’t. Is it fair that we both were sexually abused as children?
That rape happens every day? That apartheid, genocide, crimes against humanity occur every second?
NO. It certainly is not fair.
So. What are we going to do with that? It certainly cannot all be “Karma,” raping and murdering and generally causing inhuman asshattery across the globe on the daily. That’s just not going to hold water, folks. Okay. Let’s move on to: we are being taught character. Sista, please. Some of us have enough by now. So. WTF? Why are things soooo unfair?
And my answer to that is simple: who gives a shit? The important thing is what are YOU going to do about it? As Pagans? As humans? And for me, the answer is simple, but the implementation is complicated.
Work towards “fair.” I know, I know. It sounds like I am contradicting my own damn self. But, hang in there. We haven’t considered magic yet, the secret weapon against an unfair universe, the energy gifted unto us to untangle unfairness, to thwart asshattery and to avenge cruelty and disproportionate situations. Magic, I contend, is the Kryptonite to “unfairness,” the great leveler to injustice and the most fair tool we harbor in our physical frames. Some of us innately have it, some of us don’t. And that’s not fair. So, the question is: how to use it?
Well. If a lion threatens you or someone you love . . .
(Makes me think that rooster is magical, somehow. He didn’t just holler: I’m a victim! I’m a victim! while ripping out the throat of everything near and dear. Naw. Mayhap that rooster knew his situation was dire. Mayhap he couldn’t fake his demeanor to save himself, on account of his roosterness. But you should have seen him cuddle the hubby. You can’t fake that kind of affection, um, when you’re a rooster. Course, he’s out there now weeding my garden and gnawing up sleeping grubs like it’s his job–because it is, now. His situation might not be fair . . . but it’s closer.)
And none of this gets us closer to fairness. But it does snuggle our bumms up nice and cozy to magic. And that, Batchildren, is where we land. Magic. The last frontier against an unjust world, and it was there, all along. That wondrous, liquid, non-malleable energetic force that runs straight into the mouth of “lions” like . . . it’s its job.
Because? It is. Those of us who have it *should* use it to level fields for others. We *should* (but often forget) to treat it with reverence, use it communally rather than to satiate individual (rooster?) desires. Those of us who do this already tend to be poor–all of our energy and resources focused upon the real victims out there who have not yet (or maybe never will) be capable of lifting it into the air to defend themselves. In other words: magic and unfairness, or what some call evil, is the battle we should be fighting.
And if you expect the world to be fair, lie down and cry when it isn’t, wail against the injustice of it all while the rest of us sweat and work and fight the beasts of unfairness? You are wasting energy. You are carrying a protest sign (or worse, hiding in the shadows) while others are storming the castle. Yes, you have the right to cry. Yes, you have the right to be resentful, injured, indignant. But if you don’t want to end up in the freezer?
Pick up the damn sword. Hollerin’ NOT FAIR never saved a soul. It should, but it doesn’t.
But magic, pure-unadulterated-thick-loving-justified-energy magic, does. Every. Single. Time. And: if you ever find yourself to be the lion? Remember. You are what you eat. 🙂
*I adore lions. This post is in no way meant to be derogatory to lions; rather, I am using a metaphor here. (I am rather particular and fond, however, of tigers.) I am also not against roosters. Or victims. In fact, the only thing I am against in this post is Unfairness and the impulse to lay down to its altar. Aho.
**I am also not degrading true victims. I’ve been a rape victim, myself. I am, however, suggesting that those of us who are strong enough to do so should fight the aggressors of victims valiantly–at least, until they find the magic (and strength) of fighting back.
***We named #1 Mufasa. Thought y’all would enjoy that. Still taking suggestions on #3 . . .
(I see all the places this post could have gone, but at 2044 words, I laid down my pen.)