A Flashback Friday Edition:
I was almost finished with the morning chores. All of the animals had been watered and fed. I went back to the chicken coop to retrieve the morning eggs. I was at the far end of the coop, with several eggs in hand, when there was a loud “BANG” and the door swung open.
There in the doorway stood my four month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Her eyes gleamed with lust; she had just won the Canine Lottery. I yelled for her to stay, which she did for a brief moment in time. In the end, the clucking of the oddly colored, and slow moving grouse-like creatures was too much for her.
Everyone remained completely still for that split nanosecond, then hell broke loose in the form of a brown, curly-haired blur of fur. Birds were everywhere. I dropped the eggs and tried to make my way past the wall of feathers. It seemed that the birds realized that I was suddenly the lesser of the two evils in the room, and they rushed towards me. I felt like I was in a twisted Hitchcock film. My dog raced about in utter joy, flushing birds to the left, and to the right … just like I had taught her. It was feathery pandemonium, and it was ugly.
A hen made it to the door and to freedom. It was the prize layer of the flock; the Mother of many breakfasts. The dog followed her out, and was on her tail
I rushed out and saw my dog do me a huge favor, which at this point, I thought she certainly owed me. She chased the runaway chicken into her fenced area, and the bird promptly ran into the doghouse. Then my dog sat down and looked up at me with a look that asked, “Did I do good, Dad?”. I have never been so angry, and so proud of something all at the same time, as I was of her. I made a mental note, that having chickens on The Ridge may not be a good idea.
I reached into the doghouse and brought out the traumatized hen and returned her to the coop. After locking up the dog, I returned to get the eggs. The female turkey came over and laid down. I stroked her back and apologized for the rude intrusion. She seemed to understand, maybe I will get an egg from her tomorrow. The chickens, on the other hand, gave me looks of pure evil. They wanted me to pay; you could see it in their eyes. Those hate filled eyes.
Collecting eggs will never be the same. For any of us.