This post was originally published on April 25, 2014…
Ok, y’all need to get comfy…I’m about to tell you a most interesting story…got your coffee, water, tea, or soda ready? Are you snuggled in with a cozy blanket? Ok, here we go…
Tonight Elijah had baseball practice. Emma and I dropped him off at the ball field and went to Sam’s Club. I’m watching my time, in order to get back to get him around 7:30. We get him picked up, and head home about 8:15. This is where it gets good.
For those of you who haven’t been to my house, the master bathroom window overlooks the back of my yard and my neighbor’s back yard. I walked in my bathroom and happened to look out. In the distance, I saw one of our chickens…the kicker is, it looked like it was on the OTHER side of the fence (in my neighbor’s back yard).
So, I stroll outside to investigate. Sure enough, the chicken was frantically pacing along the fence line, trying to determine how it got itself into this predicament and how to get itself out. I could see the worry in her face, as she could see her friends, but couldn’t get to them. I can only imagine what was going through her little chicken brain.
I gather the kids and head over to the neighbor’s to try to corral this chicken and return it to our coop. A few of my chickens will allow me to pick them up; this was not one of them. I know in my mind that this is not going to be an easy task. With each step I take, I’m rehearsing the kabillion ways this could go.
The kids and I get to the same side of the fence as the chicken, and I’m trying to slowly approach her, in the hopes that she *might* allow me to just pick her up and toss her over the fence. She sees me coming and scurries in the opposite direction.
I ask Emma to hold the gate open, thinking if I can slowly walk alongside her, with the fence on the other side of her, we might be able to just walk her right out of the yard. Naturally, she ends up in a corner, not at all interested in my plan.
After this dance goes on for about 10 minutes, Emma finally yells to Elijah for him to hold the gate and she can help me. See, she and I have done this trick before when we’re trying to get the chickens in their run. Elijah begins to hold the gate, but not before a 5 minute dissertation from Emma on how it should be done.
A couple of times, the chicken gets within arms reach of me. I’m able to grasp out for her, but she’s very elusive and escapes my advances. At this point, I’m beginning to feel a little Jerry McGuire-ish, in saying to her, “Help me help you. Listen up chicken, I know you want to be with your other little chicken friends, but you gotta work with me here.”
Clearly, I did not have all my wits about me…trying to reason and rationalize with a chicken. Not one of my finer moments.
At this point, both kids end up at the gate to the yard and we’re all very discouraged. I begin brainstorming other ideas to attempt to save this hen from it’s fate of being separated from her sisters, when all of a sudden, the kids begin screaming, “HERE COME THEIR DOGS! MOMMA, THEIR DOGS ARE COMING!!”
Having lost a few of my chickens to the neighbor’s dogs in the past, we KNOW that they will attack the chicken in a heartbeat.
At first the kids were able to distract the dogs by having them come to them. But as soon as one of the dogs catches a whiff of the chicken, he’s gone! In an instant, the dog was at the chicken, grabbing it by its neck and dragging it through the yard.
I immediately heard wailing from Emma and Elijah because they LOVE these chickens. I tried to stop the dog, but had no luck. Pretty soon, the chicken was laying in the yard in a heap. My adrenaline was slowly beginning to decline, and I was now faced with the task of calming the kids down and explaining to them that the chicken somehow made it to the other side of the fence, and that this result was a very real possibility.
Emma and I began walking what felt like a trail of death back to the house; Elijah was already there. They were both in hysterics.
I was taking the time to explain to them that this is what happens, and that our dogs are pretty much the exception to the rule that dogs like to play with and kill chickens. I was mid-sentence when Elijah shouts so loudly that I’m sure people in the next county could hear him, “IT’S ALIVE!!!! OH MOMMA, IT’S ALIVE!!! LOOK!!!”
I turn to look and as sure as I’m sitting here now, that chicken got up, shrugged her wings, and walked away from a pile of feathers that I just knew would be the final resting place of that poor girl.
I quickly tell Emma to run to the house and ask the neighbors not to let the dogs out; that the chicken is alive and we’re going to try to get it.
I make my way back over to the other side of the fence, and again, we are playing this little cat-and-mouse game in which the chicken gets just close enough for me to catch it…if I took a nose-dive…and then runs off.
Have I mentioned HOW FAST chickens are when they are running?!?!? (Obviously not fast enough to outrun a boxer, though!)
By a stroke of sheer luck, I catch the chicken and, quite literally, toss the darn thing over the fence.
At this point, I’m ready for a stiff drink! All of this excitement is more than I can handle!
I begin walking back to the yard, after a successful search-and-rescue mission, and Elijah says, “It’s a miracle! I just knew that God would save that chicken!!”
Oh to have the faith of a child again…
Stay tuned for further antics from my chickens! (Even though the blog says 13 chickens, I actually have 8 chickens, and 11 pullets, which are like female teenage chickens…and they’re not even as much trouble as the grown ones!!!)
I’m gonna go fix that drink now…enjoy your evening/day/afternoon, whatever time it is when you’re reading this.