Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Roving Street Chickens

Why did the chickens cross the road?

Some years back we had the front and side yards re-landscaped and added many columnar magnolias creating a private garden in the front of the house and to border the road.

Yesterday, aimlessly staring out my second floor bathroom window, while brushing my thick glorious hair or flossing my teeth, I can’t remember which; I noticed some odd movement under one of the magnolias near the road.  It was some type animal; large, black and reddish brown in color and it was rooting and rolling around under one of the trees. I immediately assumed it was a Mountain Lion, which would have been strange considering we don’t have many mountains or lions in Georgia.  I put down my curling iron and padded down stairs.  The first thing I noticed as I exited the kitchen door was our two farm cats asleep on the porch, as usual.  If there was some mysterious creature in the front yard, the cats did not seem very interested.  The second thing I notice was the sound, which instantly solved the mystery.  There was a whole lot on clucking going on!  As I got closer to the tree, I could tell that instead of one multi colored furry animal rolling around under the low branches, it was three chickens. 

I walked back in the house and yelled for C, “There are a bunch of chickens in the front yard”.  Of course we live WAY in the country so it’s not usual to hear statements like that.  In fact, probably yelling we have chickens in the yard should be far more common than some of the things I’ve said before:

“There’s a cow on the front porch.”
“There’s at least twelve deer at the pool.”
“There’s a raccoon in that tree staring into the bedroom window.”
“There’s a snake in the bathroom.”
“There’s a pack of turkeys in the driveway.”

So, one would think that chickens in the yard would not be unusual.  However, we don’t have any chickens.  I want to build a pen and purchase some chickens.  But, every time I think about it I remember that my grandmother had chickens.  As kids my brothers and I would have to go feed them.  We were horrified to go in that pen with a pan of feed.  She must have had 20 or 30 chickens and they would swarm around us trying to get the food.  And there was chicken shit everywhere!  I know everyone is all about raising chickens these days and I know since we live where we live, I should especially have some.  But, I’ve been there done that and I don’t know if I’m really ready to go there again.  I might need more therapy first.  Besides, eggs are only a dollar a dozen! 

Also, I’m not aware of many chickens living nearby.  There’s a man down the street named Turtle or Crawdad or Boll weevil or something like that who has chickens, but his are in a major league pen resembling a prison with no chance of escape.  That’s why I found the presence of chickens in the yard to be more surprising than that of a red fox or miniature horse.

“When did those chickens wonder over here?” C stated as he walked outside. 

It was his lack of surprise that reminded me that these particular chickens were the pets of our new neighbors.  We have a very cute girl and her cowboy boyfriend now living across the street.  They showed up with a menagerie of farm animals, some cows, horses, a cat, a dog and yes, some chickens.  Their house sits far off the road, so except for the horses and cows which are easily visible in the pasture, I forget about the chickens. They let the chickens wonder free range style around the house.  The chickens usually stay near the house, but for some reason yesterday they decided to make a break for it, down the driveway, through the pasture and across the road. 

I really didn’t mind the chickens poking around my house.  It brought a rustic sense of authenticity to the farm.  However, they were rooting around and making a mess of all the mulch in the front garden. 

We decided to persuade the chickens to go home.  Primarily because they seemed to want to stay very near one tree extremely close to the road.  Hours can go by without ever seeing a car, but it was around , so what little traffic there is increases during this busiest time of the day.  C started trying to ‘shoo’ the chickens back across the street, but instead they freaked and each ran in a different directions.  One of them kept hiding out under the magnolias, while the other two ran up and down the middle of the road.  The neighbors were at work and all I could think was us having to explain how we were trying to ‘shoo’ the chicken’s home, when they were flattened by a fast moving pick up truck.  We could have just picked them up and dropped them over the pasture fence, which would have been much easier than ‘shooing’ them, but then we would have had to touch them and that wasn’t going to happen. 

I’m not picking up another man’s chicken.  I have no idea where that chicken may have been.  I remember as a kid they can be mean and will peck.  Beside, I’m not a fan of fowl unless they're roasted and rubbed with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic.

Finally, C got all three chickens through the neighbor’s driveway gate and we watched as they meandered home.  Crisis diverted. 

So, why did the chicken cross the road? 

Obviously, To get to my house on the other side!
Sorry...that was the best I could do!

1 comment:

  1. Such excitement. I'm hope it wasn't too traumatic having to run around shooing chickens with one's hair half curled!

    Very cute story! I enjoyed it.


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