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Posts Tagged ‘minnesota humor’

Some people have the impression that chickens are dumb. I disagree. Not only are they smart, they know exactly what they are doing. They know that someone carrying a bucket means they will be given food or water. They know when an eagle soars overhead they need to take cover. They know when the sun starts going down and a tired old Farm Woman is ready for her bath, it is time to go into the coop for the night. At least most of them know that. The naughty girls like to stay out past their bedtime. At first it was just one, then two, and now THREE girls have gone bad. I don’t know if the problem is caused by peer pressure or if it is that sweet-talking rooster from the neighboring farm and all of his cockadoodledooing. The chickens need to be safely cooped up because around here, there are plenty of nighttime predators such as foxes, wolves, and coyotes. Last night I made plans to go out with friends. I showered. I fluffed my hair. I hunted for, found, and dusted off my eye shadow. Heck, I even changed my earrings! The chickens were outside for the entire afternoon for some free ranging. Thirty minutes before my ride arrived, I whistled for them, carrying a bucket of leftover popcorn, and they all followed me like I was the Pied Piper or something. Popcorn is their favorite. One by one, in all shapes, sizes, and colors, they jumped up on the single step and into the coop. All except one, that is. She looked me straight in the eye, turned, and ran off into the woods. The woodticks-are-everywhere woods. The fox-wolf-coyote woods. Yes, those woods. Two of her cohorts followed. I cajoled them out of the woods and they ran around and around the coop. I was not far behind, and was using all the forms of bribery I knew. I shook the bucket of popcorn. I called out “Here, chicky chicky”. I whistled. The other chickens all came out of the coop, thinking I had more goodies. I shooed them back in. My ride was due in 15 minutes, my face was beet-red, and I was dripping sweat from all the running around and calling those chickens everything but a son of a rooster. If it weren’t 85 degrees outside with 100% humidity, I would have seriously considered cancelling my night out and making a nice pot of chicken and dumplings. If I could catch a chicken, that is. Instead, I locked the coop and opened the door to the shed, hoping they would find their way inside before dark. I brushed a couple of crawly things off my shirt and checked for ticks. I had just enough time to wash my face with a cool washcloth. Ready or not, my ride was at the door. Later that night, I tiptoed through the dewy grass with my flashlight and checked the shed, finding two of the naughty girls sound asleep inside. Figuring the third one was either roosting up in a tree somewhere or a coyote’s midnight snack, I’m ashamed to admit that I felt only a tiny bit sad about the latter. I repented early the next morning, and went outside to look for her. There she was, eating worms for breakfast and not looking the least bit guilty. As I opened the door to let her into the coop, she looked me straight in the eye, turned, and ran off into the woods.

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