Take five, they’re small…

“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?” – S. Parkes Cadman

The other night we came home just after dark, and drove up to the chicken coop to lock up the chickens.  I noticed that there were only 3 chickens in the coop, which was really unusual, since chickens always return to their roost at night. So, I went into the pen and they were all crammed into the corner closest to their little doorway into their coop.  The little door was closed, so they couldn’t get int0 their coop.  Chickens, not being the absolute brightest sometimes, will all huddle together in a big ball when they are scared or, as in our situation, they wanted to roost and had nowhere to go.  Unfortuately, in both situations, it is not uncommon for them to crush one another (think: people crushing one another in those soccer matches overseas.  I guess people aren’t too bright, either)  Well, after I dispersed the pile, I found Dot, my daughter’s absolute favorite Bantam hen lifeless on the ground.  I attempted a feeble try at chicken resuscitation, no mouth to mouth, mind you, but she was already gone.  I did not tell our daughter that the turkeys likely crushed little Dot for fear that she would hate the turkeys, so the next day she assumed (as she does with all the animals that are not seen again) that ‘the coyotes’ had nabbed Dot.  So, of course, Dot had to be replaced by another ‘banty’.

We went to Atwood’s and, lo and behold, all of the baby chicks are now on clearance.  My daughter immediately picked out the chick that I had my eye on, which was a tan and black spotted little number, with fully feathered legs.  But, the most eye-catching thing about his appearance was that his bottom beak was at a 45 degree angle to his top beak.  The chicks were already a couple of weeks old, so it was apparent to me after checking out “Stanley’s” body condition, that even though he was a disabled chicken, he was doing just fine.  Yes, a disabled chicken.  So, as we were looking at the other chicks, another family (and I use that term loosely here) came by with about 3 kids and another on the way, and the smallest girl, who looked about two, wanted to touch the tiniest Bantam, whereupon her mother’s boyfriend/new husband/whatever told her, “No, you don’t want the runt.”  First of all, it isn’t as though they were buying chicks, they were just looking.  Second of all, it isn’t like being a runt is contagious, and thirdly, they were Bantam chicks, anyway! (that means miniature chicken, essentially) 

Naturally, I picked up the “runt” and I bought it, too, to save it from being the target of some other redneck’s comments.   Then, I picked up a baby chick for the little girl, who I was pitying at that moment, having to deal with a mother that was running around with an angry-looking redneck boyfriend who took every chance he got to make snappy comments at her, and she pet the chick ever so gently. (That woman really needs to listen to Dr. Laura)  So, then I picked out 3 more chicks that I am almost certain are Frizzles, and we left. 

My husband came home singing a song (we are always singing dumb, made-up songs) with some lyrics about, “Well, we went to get two, and we came home with five…”.  Oh, well. 

In farm life, we worked on the brick path yesterday, despite being 90 degrees with 400% humidity.  The weather has been so wacky lately, I’m surprised we haven’t yet been slammed with a tornado yet.  Today is hot, tonight will be cooler, tomorrow will be hotter, but then the next day we’re having a major cold front.  Go figure.  Anyway, we have completed enough of the path that it is now coming around the front of the house and we have gotten rid of two pallets of bricks that have been sitting in my front yard for about a year.  Yippee!  When Jason moved the last pallet, he found a snake for me, so of course I had to go outside and pick it up!  It looked like a Rough Earth snake to me, but I am not 100% sure on that.  But what I am positive about is that it wasn’t poisonous.  I don’t ‘do’ poisonous snakes.

Saturday Night Redneckerie

So last week, we were sitting in the living room after dark, all the doors were open to let in the (then) cool breezes, and I kept hearing these clanging noises.  I went and looked outside and didn’t see anything.  The next morning, I discovered a mad trail of greasy raccoon footprints all over our deck…apparently a coon had gotten into a pot of grease that Jason had fried something in that he had left on the back porch. 

So, the next night.  Jason sets out the 12 gauge (??!!??) for the coon in the kitchen.  I’m sound asleep.  At 4:24am, I wake up to hear Jason saying, “Is that just wind or rain?”.  I mumble something, and he jumps out of bed, crying, “It’s rain, it’s rain!  I have tools in the back of my truck that CANNOT get wet!”  As he is running into the kitchen, I’m trying to find my glasses and the floor, and he comes running back into our room, whispering loudly, “It’s the coon!  I’m gonna make some noise.”  So I tell him NO, don’t shoot the coon, because it’ll be back and we’re in a Godawful rush as it is.

We get the truck moved into the shed after a 5 minute, 3 car frantic game of Musical Cars, and we manage to get everything put away.  Then, our youngest comes into our room, so I go and fall asleep with her.  About 30 minutes later, Jason comes up the stairs (now 5:30am) and whispers loudly, “The coon’s back!  Do you wanna see it?”  “NO”, I say,”I just wanna sleep.”  The next morning, he makes a huge circle with his arms.  “That coon was THIS big!”, he says.  So, I name the coon “Cartman”, after the little Butterball, Eric Cartman, on South Park. Cartman had managed to completely rip the plastic door off of the dog food container and throw it to the ground, as well as eat about 1/4 of our dog food. The NEXT night. Saturday night…..

We now have a .22.  No more 12 gauge cannons for Cartman.  We set up the gun, a little dog food on the deck, and we wait.  As expected, here comes a coon, but not Cartman.  No, now we have yet ANOTHER coon to contend with.  I fling open the back door, and POP POP POP POP, 4 shots……………………………………………uh, no hits.  Coon #2 runs off to the safety of the UNDERSIDE OF OUR HOUSE.  Sigh.  Now we know there are at least 2 coons living right underneath us.  Great.

We set up again.  We leave all of the lights off and I decide to crack our kitchen window, overlooking the deck, and stick the barrel of the gun out the window. I get a snack and I am munching away, when suddenly something dawns on me:  It’s a Saturday night, I have a Moon Pie in my hand, and I’m shooting wildlife from the comfort of my own kitchen

Yes, we have officially arrived to Redneckia.