I am wearing a long prairie skirt, sturdy wellies and an apron. The deep pockets of my skirt are filled with the crunchy grain of chicken feed. I step out of my house and into the yard where a chicken coop stands. As I approach, the chickens become excited. They rush forward as I open the fence and cluck noisily for their breakfast. The sun is peeking over the horizon and the air is warm and sweet.
With one hand I begin to spread the grain on the ground whispering softly to my chickens. They like it when I speak to them over breakfast. The dogs nose along the border of fence, curious and wanting to sniff these clucking bursts of feathers. I shush the dogs and continue past the chickens and into the hen house. In my hand is a basket and a soft dish towel. The hen house is dark and quiet. I make my way to the nests and reach into each one slowly, tentatively.
Some nests are empty, but most contain treasure. One by one the eggs, still warm, go into my basket. Once I have collected them all I say goodbye to the chickens and head back into the house.
That is the end. In my chicken fantasy the sun is always shining, I always have on an adorable prairie skirt and I never actually cook the eggs. I don't eat a lot of eggs come to think of it. And I am chronically overburdened by the pets I already have. However, it is a persistent fantasy, the kind of fantasy that can only be had by a certain kind of housewife. The kind of housewife who can romanticize being thrifty, who fantasizes about raising fowl, who longs not for flashy gems, but who can be content with all of the creatures of her queendom. She is the luckiest housewife of all.