“We are on the Central Coast. Would you mind checking on the cat while we’re gone?” requested Jane. “I asked Victoria to take care of things, but I may have forgotten to mention the cat. And, while you’re there, go ahead and grab any eggs you find in the ‘chook’ pen.”
I would do anything for Jane. She was the first Australian to take me under her wing and the least I could do is check on her chickens and throw out some feed for her feline in her absence. She assured me that the “chooks” were quite easy to handle and that if they tried to escape, they could be easily coaxed back into the pen with a broom. Or, at least, that is what I thought I heard her say.
I took the girls down the road with me to enjoy the kid paradise that is Jane’s backyard. The gated, grassy plot is home to swings, a trampoline, a semi-friendly cat, a cubby house, a scrumptious garden and a pregnant guinea pig.
I put Chaylee in her favorite swing and tended to the cat before heading to the coup with Kenna, broom in hand. Inside were two eggs with my name on it, guarded by a protective hen with a stern look and unnaturally large feet.
I could hear Jane in my head, “If you run into trouble, just use the broom.” I gently batted at the guardian chicken with the aforementioned broom, all the while speaking words of encouragement to her.
“Hello there tender chicken. Can I have those eggs please? Pretty please?”
She stared me down, unmoved by my words. I opened the gate wider and advanced with greater authority. Just then, two hens escaped between my legs with lightening speed and mind-boggling accuracy. Kenna screamed. Flustered, I turned my gaze toward the escapees, and in doing so, left the egg monitor with large feet, unsupervised. She too flew the coup and headed straight for the swing set.
Chaylee was a sitting duck; perched on a swing that was no longer swinging, she wailed wildly, sure she would soon be eaten by chickens. I rescued her from certain death and placed her on the trampoline out of harms way. Kenna grabbed the once heavily guarded eggs before heading to the trampoline as well, which thereto became known as, “the rally point”.
“Whatever you do, do not leave your post!” I said.
“But Mom…” Kenna interrupted.
“DO NOT leave your post! It’s time for Operation Chicken Recovery.” Wielding the broom like a maniac I chased down the rogue chickens, masking my panic with tender words.
“Come on you crazy chickens. Go back to your home. Come on. Please!”
Just as “chook number one” was just about under my control, I heard yet another scream. Kenna stood up and cried out in distressr, egg dripping from her pink ruffles; our first casualty.
Chaylee began to panic. Her whimpers evolved into genuine sobs. The chicken situation was worsening by the minute. Kenna, abandoned her post, and wearing nothing but a t shirt and underwear headed for the hose. I resumed my efforts with the broom. Chaylee continued to weep.
A young neighbor peered over the fence. I smiled and waved.
“I have everything under control.” I said with waning confidence. I was out of my element. It was time to call in reinforcements.
Although Kenna had encouraged me to bring my cell phone on our excursion, I did not. I would have to get in the house somehow. Fortunately, I knew where the spare key was located and was able to enter the house and use the landline. Kenna resumed her post at the rally point to comfort her sister, while I entered the home.
“Mike…we have a chicken situation. I repeat, the chickens are on the loose.” He was not surprised.
I pressed on till help arrived…and oh yes…it did arrive. Mike Pasley had a weapon I was unaware of.
You see, Mike Pasley is a chicken whisperer. I did not know this when we met or married. But, this man has a gift. He walked over to the freakish hen with the large feet, and calmly picked her up. The chicken did not fight him. She went willingly. It was then I discovered, that my husband is in fact, the Beastmaster.
Could diplomacy have been the answer all along?
Just then, Victoria and family entered the battlefield and witnessed Mike’s magic for themselves. I shared with them what had transpired and with a kind giggle she broke the news.
“Actually, the chickens will go back into the pen themselves at night. I think Jane just uses the broom to get the eggs.”
Have you ever been in a chicken situation? (Dee I expect you to have some good stuff to share)
Phrase of the Day
Cracked a Wobbly: To freak out or lose it. ….
I just about cracked a wobbly when those chooks escaped.
Did you know that when people yell at you with an Australian accent it actually hurts your feelings more? I will share more about this interesting fact, in my next blog entitled, “The Jerry Springer Carpet Cleaner”