Wednesday, May 6, 2009

One of those days...

I suppose it is from being gone two weekends in a row at conferences, but I hit a wall today. I couldn't seem to make it to my first class, and then the rest of the day I was unfocused and couldn't wait for my other classes to end.

I came home and the "big kids" (older chickens) were outside in their pen, as Marc often puts them outside when he gets home. I stuffed my dress pants into my wellington boots and trudged across the soggy lawn to say hello. They were mostly having fun, although it was very windy and I could tell they were starting to get cold-- every time a gust of wind came by they would fluff up their feathers and huddle together, complaining all the while. I promised them I would be back in a half hour or so to take them in for the night, as it is usually a two-man job. I went back inside sans muddy boots to start dinner. A few minutes later I was talking to Marc when for some reason he looked out the window to check on the chickens and said, "uh oh, a cat is trying to do something bad." And off we went running down the stairs, to stuff our feet back into our muddy boots and race across the wet grass where a neighborhood cat was chasing the chickens round, thankfully from the outside of their pen (it does not yet have a ceiling, so it was only a matter of time before kitty discovered she could climb her way to a chicken dinner.) Marc chased the cat into the neighbors' yard, while I climbed in the pen with the traumatized chicks to reassure them. They were so cold and scared that instead of running from me as they normally do, they gathered around at my feet. Skittles, who of all the big kids is the most people friendly, though not a big fan of being held, let me pick her up and pet her for a good ten minutes and respectfully refrained from pooping on my sweater, as I was still in my good clothes. When Marc came back with a box to carry them back into the house there were none of the usual loud objections, or rambunctious chases around the pen. They stood dutifully still as I picked up each chicken, whispering reassuring words in each of their ears before placing them in their cardboard box to be carried back to the house. It seems the chickens are not as afraid of us as we initially presumed.

Back in the house the ladies still were terrified. They objected loudly to us leaving them alone in their box in the spare bedroom, and became inconsolable when we tried to turn off the lights for the evening (chickens are, after all, completely night blind). The lights went back on until they calmed down after their traumatic evening.

Meanwhile I tried to make us each a soothing cup of tea and dropped the jar of licorice root all over the counter, and Marc spilled his entire cup of tea on the carpet. It was a long day for all of us.

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