Today, the chicken wrangling came before the earthquake. I was alerted to the need for chicken rescue when papa came into the house and announced that one of the chickens was in the donkey field. Now, I will say that the donkey field was one of the chickens’ favorite spots when we had no donkeys, only the two old horses left behind by the people from whom we bought the place. However, since the three donkeys moved in, the chickens are smart enough to know that when a really large beast with four big hooves tries to stomp you when you are in your formerly favorite spot under the big tree, it’s time to move on.
As I climbed up the hill to see what the ruckus was about, I could hear Chase and Fluffbottom (named by the adopted nieces and nephew) telling me all about the issue. Indeed, I could see poor Nibbles stuck on the other side of the fence. She walked down to meet me, but I tried to get her to turn around to follow me up to the gate. She followed a while, but then got fixated on trying to figure out why she still could not fit through the small squares in the fencing the way she used to be able to do. I didn’t want to tell her that she was a bit of a porker for a chicken. She followed me a short way again, but then went back to see if she could find another way out. Since each time she turned around brought her closer to the donkeys who spend their days down in the lower hay field, I realized that my slippered feet were going to have to take me out into the field.
Getting into the field was fine. Approaching Nibbles without chasing her farther down the field was an interesting challenge. But making sure my slippered feet didn’t do too much slipping in half frozen donkey droppings as I walked back down the hill on the inside of the fence would have been the most entertaining site if someone had been watching me. I managed to only half slip once or twice as I made my way to Nibbles.
Now, anyone who has chickens knows that some chickens are perfectly reasonable and willing to listen to a properly modulated voice when its trying to help them out. Nibbles had been in a state of high feather for a while before I approached, so she wasn’t as willing to listen as she normally is. When it comes to discussing the proper location for sunflower seed sprinkling, she is most attentive. My mini-lecture on the best path out of the donkey field was not high on her “must listen to” list.
After judging the distance between myself and her and the corner where I knew my slippers would certainly slip the most, I eased myself to the down hill side of the chicken while muttering well chosen words of encouragement. “No, no, not that way, you big fat chicken,” somehow sounds much cuter when said with soothing tones. After herding her back up the hill away from the certain slipper danger spot, I finally managed to catch her as she stopped one more time to contemplate why her big feathered booty would not squeeze through the fence the way it used to. Fortunately, once captured, she was too tired to struggle. So, other than one offended “Bwak,” she did not say much else on our walk back out of the donkey field to the chicken coop.
I never really thought that chickens would be such entertaining beasties. I suppose I am grateful for their shenanigans and tomfoolery. Now, as for the little earthquake. I’m probably also grateful that it wasn’t bigger.
I know that I called this blog thingy “Grumpy Gal’s Guide to Gratitude,” but I’m not really sure this is much of a guide. I’m still grumpy. Other than a vague description of chicken wrangling in slippers, this really isn’t much of a guide. Still, I may get there some day. I suspect I would be grateful if you tagged along.