Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicken Games

We have a new game around here.

It's called "Chicken In the Kitchen."

Actually, it's not a game at all; I just figure if I call it a game it will seem more fun and playful. And less disturbing.

In reality, what we have are chickens who have discovered the screenless window to our bedroom, and who delight in jumping into the house. Which means we've had to be a whole new level of vigilant around here, listening for the telltale flutter of wings that our feathered friends can't disguise as they come in for a landing. That blessed flutter is the only thing standing between us and a lot of unmentionable undesirables in the house, I tell you what. (Oh, who am I kidding? I mention it all the time: poop. Poop, poop, poop. It's what chickens do. A lot.)

Last week when I had a triple whammy of upper respiratory infections, I was a little foggy coming in the front door and a little red hen snuck behind me and made it to the kitchen. I shut the door, lifted my drooping head and spied her happily munching at the cat's dish. I actually closed my eyes and uttered a little prayer, standing there in the dining room, "Oh, I really can't chase her. I can't. Please, please let her be calm so she'll let me pick her up without having to chase her around the house."

I advanced on her quietly and slowly, and thankfully, she just stood there while I picked her up.

Prayers are answered, and don't you forget it.

Anyway, this morning I realized no one would be home during the day, and I didn't want to risk the chickens having their way with the house, so I blocked the window. Then, when I was in the truck getting ready to drive the kids to school, I delighted, DELIGHTED in watching a rooster hop up to the windowsill and bob and crane his neck trying to figure out how to get into the new playground, then jump down in defeat. Ha! Take that!

There is, of course, a corner of me that realizes that not everyone...or anyone...worries about things like keeping chickens out of the house. I know that. I do. I just can't dwell on it too long or I might throw in the towel and sell the whole operation and find a nice, clean, shiny, new, well-sealed house inside city limits, with a postage stamp, poop-free lawn.

So I don't dwell. I just dodge the chicken poo and smile. And pet a feathered head. Then all is well.

Love from the farm,

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