Fred opened the door to the chicken coop yesterday before he left for work, but it was still pretty dark out, so the chickens peered at him and said “Um, no thanks. We’re okay in here. Buh-bye!”. Fred went to work and I got up shortly thereafter, did my morning chores, and sat down at … Continue reading “11-13-08”

Fred opened the door to the chicken coop yesterday before he left for work, but it was still pretty dark out, so the chickens peered at him and said “Um, no thanks. We’re okay in here. Buh-bye!”.

Fred went to work and I got up shortly thereafter, did my morning chores, and sat down at my computer. I looked out at the chicken yard to see a large number of chickens milling about, so I knew they’d figured out how to come out the door (with chickens, you can never overestimate their stupidity, TRUST ME).

A while later, Fred called to check on the chickens, and as I was talking to him, I looked out the window and realized that there was a chicken wandering through the old chicken yard. I hung up the phone and went out to see what the hell was going on, and I was displeased to realize that the chicken was one of the three fairly youngish chickens we’d been calling the Three Musketeers (because we are so original), a chicken who is very scared of Fred and I, because she was hatched by one of our chickens and thus was never really handled by either of us and thus believes we’re about to harm her in some very painful and inventive way if we even think about glancing in her direction.

Then I realized that there were about fifteen other chickens wandering around in the space between the new chicken yard and the old chicken yard, which meant they’d gotten under the fence somewhere and needed to be herded back into the new chicken yard.

With the help of cracked corn, I was able to lure all of them but the Musketeer back into the new chicken yard, and when I looked around to see how they’d gotten out, I quickly spotted a huge-ass gap under part of the fence, where the fence didn’t even come close to touching the ground. T-posts still need to be pounded in all around the back forty to hold the fence in place, but we (FRED) had been so eager to get the chickens moved that we (FRED) decided to move them to the new coop before the new yard was really secure.

Since the rest of the chickens were occupied with the chicken scratch I’d tossed in the chicken yard, away from the fence, I propped the gate open and ran to get on the other side of the Musketeer to shoo her into the yard.

Oh, yes. What a fool-proof plan THAT was. I ran to get on the other side of her, and she saw me running at her and she ran away from me. Away from the gate. She ran so that she was between the fence on the side of the old chicken yard and the trees and greenery next to the fence. I ran into the chicken yard and tried to get even with her so I could encourage her to move toward the new chicken yard, but never could get near her.

(You should imagine that I was swearing at the top of my lungs, this entire time.)

Finally, I gave up, opened the old chicken coop in case the stupid goddamn Musketeer wanted to go inside to lay an egg or something, and then I stomped inside. Then I stomped back outside to the new chicken yard, where I dragged a post over to the gap in the fence to block other chickens from getting out that way again. Then I stomped back inside and growled to myself that I hoped something would EAT that goddamn Musketeer and that it would be SLOW and PAINFUL for her.

An hour later I looked out to see the Musketeer strolling alongside the fence again, the fence on the side of the old chicken yard. So I grabbed more cracked corn and I went out and tried to lure her near the new chicken yard. She would not be lured. So I grabbed my SCOOP HANDS and went out to try to shoo her toward the new chicken yard. The shooing went okay at first, but then she remembered that she is a goddamn idiot and so she lost her shit for no apparent reason and went squawking hysterically into the woods.

(You cannot make a stupid bird a smart one with SCOOP HANDS.)

And I gave up. I could occasionally see her wandering along beside the fence, but I figured she’d either make her way into the old coop whereupon Fred could grab her at dark and transfer her to the new coop, or she’d figure out how to get back into the chicken yard, or something would eat her and ASK ME IF I CARE.

Goddamn chicken.

(When Fred got home, her day of being without food and water had apparently gotten to her, and it took very little coaxing on his part to get her in the chicken yard. Stupid chicken.)

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In between the bouts of chicken wrangling, I was sitting in front of my computer trying to reason with Mister Boogers, who is having PMS or something these last few days and picking on any other cat who happens to wander across his angry, hetful path. I was just about at the “They’re not bothering you, why are you being such an asshole to them?” part of the discussion when I heard a horn in the driveway.

“Oh! I must have a package!” I said to Mister Boogers, who clearly could not have cared any less about anything I had to say. I put him on the floor, slid my feet into my shoes and went out into the driveway.

It wasn’t the mail lady, it wasn’t the UPS, FedEx, or DHL guy. It was a guy I’d never seen before getting out of a white minivan, and so I met him in the side yard, smiled and said “Hi” and silently cursed myself for not looking out the window before blithely skipping out the door. If I’d known it wasn’t a mail call, I’d have hidden and pretended not to be home, because the Robyn don’t take kindly to strangers, especially of the unexpected sort.

The man pointed out toward the chicken yard and asked if we sold chickens. We’ve only sold chickens once before, and both Fred and I felt so bad about doing so, despite the fact that the family who bought the chickens did so to have them as laying hens and therefore they probably are going to lead a longer life than they would have here at Crooked Acres. Or so we believed at the time, before we got to the point where we only have chicken every other month or so.

“No, we sure don’t,” I said. His friend/ brother/ coworker/ how the fuck do I know their relationship? got out of the van and walked over to us.

The first guy mumbled something that I didn’t quite understand, though I heard “just roosters?” in there somewhere, so I said “Well, we have a couple of roosters, and the rest are hens.”

The second guy said “You have any fresh eggs?”

“No, we sure don’t,” I said. “We sold the last extra dozen yesterday.”

“So, when the sign is out is when you have eggs?” Guy #2 said.

“Right, if the sign is out we have eggs, and if it’s not we don’t.” I wisely didn’t add “DUH!”

There was silence as the two men looked out toward the chicken yard. And it wasn’t anything they did, I didn’t have any flashes of intuition, I’ve read The Gift of Fear and I believe fully in following your intuition, I never truly felt unsafe, but that’s the point when I thought to myself, You’re a goddamn idiot for standing here talking to two strange men. This is how news stories that begin ‘A Smallville woman was brutally raped and murdered in her own home earlier today while ten cats hid under a nearby bed’ happen.

“How many chickens do you have?” Guy #2 asked.

I lied. “About forty,” I said.

Another pause as they looked out toward the chicken yard, and then they smiled and thanked me and left.

When I came inside and called Fred, he made me go over the conversation a couple of times, and then he said “Have you learned anything?” and I said “To look out the window before I go running out the door when someone honks their horn!” and he said “Anything ELSE?” and I said “No, not really”, even though I knew what he wanted me to say was that I’d stick a gun in my pocket before I went out to talk to strange men, but the conundrum there is that if I’d realized they were strangers I never would have gone out there.

(I’ve told Fred we need a doormat that says “The wife don’t take too kindly to strangers.”)

So then he said “What would you have done if you’d seen them headed for the chicken yard to STEAL OUR CHICKENS?”

And I obediently said I’d have grabbed a gun and gone after them, but please. As if. I know me, and I’m as likely to go after a couple of trespassing strangers who are out to steal some chickens from us as I am to get the lead role in The Nutcracker on Broadway.

So, yeah. Strangers came by, I talked to them, they left without incident, and I live to bitch another day.

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The other day I went upstairs to hang out with the kittens, and Kara wanted to come with me, so I let her in. She went into my bedroom to hang out, and I put the baby gate back up.

After getting his fill of love from me, Lem was all “It’s time to EXPLORE!”

2008-11-13 (2)
So he sat in the hallway looking at Kara for a long time.

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Kara said ::hiss!::

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Lem said ::HISS!::

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Kara said “That’s what I thought you’d say. I’ll just be in here hiding under the bed.”
Lem said “Good to know. I’ll watch here from the doorway.”

I don’t expect Kara to adopt the kittens as her own or anything, but would it be too much to ask her mothering instincts to kick in just a little and have her be NICE to the little ones?

Apparently so.

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2008-11-13 (1)
Crooked Acres President-Elect Tommy “Big Time Pimpin’ Daddy” Cullen with his bodyguard.

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2007: Well, of course. Of course he was in the house. Where else would a squirrel be, after all?
2006: In lieu of an entry today, you get a plea.
2005: No entry.
2004: No entry.
2003: I’m not holding much love for Tubby at the moment, believe you me.
2002: And also, I have short and stubby legs.
2001: I think that our dog thinks she’s a Mexican jumping bean.
2000: In fact, my new motto is going to be “Bitch, whine, moan. Lather, rinse, repeat.”
1999: I would name her Molly.