October 17, 2009

The Escapee

"Shit! Ella, GET BACK HERE!"

Ella, my dumbest hen, had shot out of the chicken pen and taken off across the yard at a dead run, clucking like a deranged mental patient. Her feathered bottom rocked dangerously from side to side, threatening to topple her at any moment. She looked like a fat woman running, one with one leg shorter than the other.

God dammit. I was late for work already, dressed in my work clothes and did NOT want to chase down a stupid chicken through our septic waste-infested yard. (Gotta get that septic system looked after.) But I did it anyway because my chickens had recently had to be penned up due to a neighbor's complaint.

It was bad enough that I was going to show up at work with chicken shit from the pen stuck to the bottoms of my loafers - no matter how I scrubbed them in the grass, some would stick and I'd carry "Eau de Chicken Poop" into the office. Now add "Eau de Human Poop" to the shoes and my co-workers would surely be very happy with me. I couldn't change shoes 'cuz they're the only ones I have decent enough for work in an office.

All I had wanted to do was throw hay to the mini horse, feed the chickens, get in the car and haul ass for work. But nooooooo. Ella had to choose that moment to make a break for it.

We played ring-around-the-rosy with my horse's favorite tree. He thought it was a fine game and joined in, terrifying Ella who shot off under the electric fence into the very neighbor's yard who had complained. Shit, fuck, hell, damn. I cursed that hen with every dirty word I knew, including some phrases in other languages that were too disgusting to translate into English. At the top of my lungs. The neighbors, who already thought I might be white trash just for keeping chickens, are now convinced.

I'd lunge left, she'd run right. And vice versa. Never mind that her rooster was calling to her to get her ass home; she has a stubborn streak a mile wide. Never mind that she HAD to be hungry, she HAD to know that I was coming into the pen to feed them. It took me ten minutes to corner her and when I grabbed her you'd have thought I was killing her. She was still screeching at the top of her lungs when I got her back in the pen, which prompted Edwin the rooster to attack me in order to protect the dumbest of his harem. (Edwin isn't the brightest bulb of the bunch either.)

I made it to work and quickly slipped past the wrinkled noses and raised eyebrows to wash off my shoes in the sink in the ladies' (ewww). I couldn't do anything about my formerly creased pants which were now a mass of wrinkles from the knees down, thanks to the dew in the grass, and bearing oddly shaped stripes of dirt from Edwin's eight toes.

Oh well, I thought, shit happens when you have animals. But I really think Ella's deranged. If she keeps it up she won't be my star layer anymore; she'll be dinner.

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