Friday, April 30, 2004

Horrid Tasty Thing

So this afternoon I was out enjoying the waning of the day...the chickens had been fed and were wandering contentedly about the yard...my daughter was playing happily with the bubbles I was blowing.

Suddenly, one of the young chickens darts across the yard over by the coop in what was clearly the furtive "I've got a really cool goodie" dash with three other birds in hot pursuit. Problem is, I haven't handed out anything and it was clearly a large, tasty something that this chicken had in his beak. Off I go to give chase, wondering what the heck they've gotten into NOW. As I join the chicken parade and we all double-time it in circles around the yard, the Tasty Thing is looking more and more like...a fish.

A smallish fish, to be sure...

Wondering how in the Hell a fish has made it into my landlocked suburban yard, I get serious about getting Tasty Thing away from a very determined bird. By now the rest of the chickens have wisely given up the chase since Phoenix has it, and the Head Hen (me) is obviously showing waaaay too much interest in Tasty Thing.

Except now Tasty Thing is actually looking kinda like a human finger...! A decrepit and rotting finger, but still very fingerlike nonetheless.

At this point I pick up my daughter's toy shovel, intent on getting Horrid Tasty Thing OUT of my pet's beak. Meanwhile, my husband, who throughout this entire time has been on the roof working on the air conditioner and has had a ringside seat to this fiasco, is shouting, "What is it? What IS it?!"

"I dunno!" I yell back, brandishing the toy shovel at Phoenix, who has by now taken refuge under the patio table. NOW here comes my 4 year old daughter to 'help', saints preserve us. I make one last, desperate, blind lunge at the chicken under the table and am rewarded with a loud squawk. To my relief the offended bird runs out from under the other side of the table, sans Horrid Tasty Thing. Oh goodie, now I get to play with it.

"Jesus!" I involuntarily yell when I finally get a good look at it.

"What IS IT?!" Again from the roof, sounding anguished and disturbed.

"Uh...." Ugh, necessity dictates that I now look closely at Horrid Tasty Thing, unwillingly assisted by a half-hearted prod from a handy nearby stick.

"Geez, it's a SNAKE!" I call up to the roof. Actually it's just the head and an inch or two of neck/body and judging by the many beak holes in it, is obviously a discarded snack from the local crows...double ugh...

"Where in the Hell did they get a snake?!" from above in disbelief.

I don't know, but I've learned that where there's one, there's more. By the way, my brain whispers to me...where's the REST of Horrid Tasty Thing? Away to the coop I fly, searching for more bits and pieces. To my relief I don't find any, but this is also worrisome since I now wonder if my preschooler will be next to produce a grisly offering. I return to further inspect the decapitated monster, and decide that what it really is, is a REALLY BIG lizard. Great. Lizards we have in abundance and I welcome them, although I much prefer them alive. Much better.

That poor chicken never did get Horrid Tasty Thing returned to him, but I did slip him a piece of pizza crust to help sooth any ruffled feathers.

Ahh, another sleepy day in suburbia...

1 comment:

  1. From my brother:
    Oh, you haven't seen anything until you've seen twin tabby cats playing volleyball with some luckless alligator lizard...


    NO, MINE!!

    I got it I got it I got it!

    Agh! It's STUCK ON MY CLAW! Getitoffgetitoff GET IT OFF!

    SPIKE the lizard!!