It’s a sunny spring morning, this first Sunday in April, and our girls came over earlier for breakfast to celebrate Lisa’s birthday. It was great to have all of them: Karin, Kim, and both granddaughters, ACT 1 and 2. (We’re avoiding putting the girls’ names online for now. Since both of them have ACT as their initials, ACT 1 & 2 is a convenient–and cute, in our opinion–way to refer to them. Kind of like Thing 1 and Thing 2, only different. Did Karin plan it that way? Probably.)
They’re back home now taking naps, Lisa’s gone into the office (she’s an accountant who specializes in personal tax preparation, and there are only two weeks left until April 18…’tis the season), and I’ve got the side porch to myself. Well, almost. Our dog, Maggie, is sunning on the top step.
And there are the chickens. When I sat down to pen (type? keyboard?) this narrative, our chickens weren’t part of my plot line. I’m being totally honest when I say they didn’t even enter my mind until after I’d written the word “myself” in the previous paragraph. Our ladies were doing their free-ranging thing since I’m out here to supervise, but I wasn’t going to tell you about that. I was going to write a story about my wife trying to teach ACT 2 to wrinkle her nose. The Google doc I’m working in is even titled “Nose Wrinkling.” Then I got these pictures.
Quick aside: The advantage of an iPad and Bluetooth keyboard over a typewriter is apparent during these situations. No one ever picked up a typewriter and took a quick picture with it.
Chickens are naturally curious, I’ve observed over the years they’ve been a part of our lives, and some of them are just a little bit bossy. There are docile breeds and more aggressive breeds, and within each there’s a range of personalities. We’ve got a Rhode Island Red that simply needs to be in charge. She’s not necessarily aggressive (although she does peck at toenails during sandal season), but she’s far from being shy.
I was sitting in a chair with my keyboard perched on my lap and a cup of coffee on the porch rail beside me when this little lady marched up the steps. She was clucking away, and without breaking stride walked up to me and flew/hopped the 18 inches to my right knee.
She gave me the eyeball (like most birds, chickens’ eyes are situated on their heads in such as way as to allow only one eye to really focus on an object at once), pecked away at my keyboard–the trim, not the keys, or I’d have totally left those letters in the story, and expressed her displeasure when I reached out to stroke her comb. My wife read once that stroking a chicken’s comb or wattles is a pleasurable experience; for years, we’ve wondered if the author meant for the person or for the chicken since she wasn’t really clear in the text. I’m leaning toward the person.
After a few minutes I’d had enough fun for one day and nudged her stubborn fluffy butt off of my leg. Away she went, back into the yard, apparently satisfied with her on-the-porch exploration.
There’s a slight breeze that’s nicely offsetting the rising temperature, I can hear birds singing all around me, and the smell of fresh grass is tickling my nose as a result of my upwind neighbor’s lawn mowing. I’m going to finish both this narrative and my coffee now, since, for the life of me, I can’t remember the story I sat down to write. Trust me, though, it was cute.