While I was growing up, Mom and Dad’s dream was to live in the country. I was always a bit trepidatious about this dream.
After all, there are no malls in the country. And it takes too long to get places.
And I like going places. Quickly.
I am quite happy that they have achieved their dream, and it is very fun to visit their dream. Oh yes, and I’m especially thankful that their dream is only 20 minutes away. That is nice. And actually convenient, country though it may be!!
Also, their dream is an absolute playground for Ali. She completely adores picking and eating tomatoes and blueberries off the vine, getting eggs out from under the chickens, and running around and getting dirty to her heart’s content.
I went out to Mom and Dad’s today to pick Ali up. She was still napping when I got there, and so I was hanging out and visiting with Mom.
I happened to look outside and see that one of their chickens was loose. This isn’t good. Chickens often “disappear” in the country, thanks to dogs and hawks and who knows what else.
Mom was elbow deep in making Muscadine Jelly (for those of you who aren’t countrified, jelly is not one of those things you can stop in the middle of), so it was up to me to save the day.
Mom: “Which one is it?”
Me: “I don’t know. She’s black.”
Mom: “Oh – that’s Larry, Moe or Curly. They’re easy to catch. Just go out there and throw some bread and she’ll go right back into the cage.”
(editor’s note: Larry, Moe, and Curly are all female chickens. All of their chickens ended up getting male names before their gender could be determined, and they all ended up being female. The weird part about this is that Mom WANTED all females. Apparently she was trying out some Chicken-Reverse-Psychology. Which works, by the way.)
Me: “How do they get out of the cage?”
Mom: “Oh, they fly out.”
Something about this setup seems predestined to have problems.
So, with a dose of over-confidence, I head down to do a roundup. Here is the rest of the story in pictures:
The (hopeful) end to the mission:The jailbreaker bait:The extremely steep hill that I had to climb down to get to the jailbreaker:My ever-appropriate shoes for said climbing:
Although jailbreaker was more than willing to go back TOWARDS the pen, she and I made about 5 laps of “chase” AROUND the pen. Not as willing to go in as Mom said. At least for me.
The eager onlookers:
The evil accomplice that tried to escape every time I opened the pen in attempt to get jailbreaker inside:
Evil Accomplice got “nudged” with my foot back into the pen several times. No chickens were harmed in the shooting of this blog.
Then, as soon as I FINISHED climbing the steep hill back to the house, I looked back, just in time to see this happen:
I go in, tell Mom that I’ve got to go back down and need more bread.
Me: “As soon as I got to the top of the hill, she flew out again.”
Mom: “Really? That’s strange.”
Me (to myself only): “She’s a bird. She flies. That’s strange?????”
Mom: “Well if you have trouble with her again, just pick her up. If you reach for her, she hunkers down and lets you pick her up.”
Let me assure you, although she may let MOM pick her up, she wasn’t so excited about me doing it.
The second chasing and penning of jailbreaker took about 4 times longer than the first. In fact, it took so long that Mom finished her Muscadine Jelly and walked down to help me. Or to make sure that I wasn’t harming her chickens. But I had JUST managed to FINALLY pick jailbreaker up and “gently” drop her back into the coop.
Oh yes, and my injury from the whole escapade:
See, I told you I don’t keep my toenails painted.