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We got two new chickens the other day at a farm, 

just south of our home.

They were less than two weeks old;

strong and vulnerable all at the same time.

My daughter folded up three paper towels right before

my son placed the chicks into a shoebox full of breathing holes.

As we drove home, my children squealed with delight -

they are also strong and vulnerable all at the same time.

They know nothing of the hawk circling above even now;

nothing of that fox already sniffing around the coop 

full of anticipation.

All they know is that we need to plug in the heat lamp 

the minute we get home.

So for now, my job is to feed and water and create 

a safe place for all of them;

praying, all the while, for that peaceable kingdom to come near,

for the lion to lay down with the lamb,

for the owl to lay down his life for the mouse,

and for justice and peace to kiss while the chickens 

and the children roll their eyes and grin.

+ Rev. Elizabeth Myer Boulton

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