Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Feathered Foremen, Or, Why My Husband Can't Get Anything Done

When my kid was younger, she LOVED sidewalk chalk.  Like LOVED it, and would color anything that stood still.  The 'Welcome' picture on the front page of my chicken site is thanks to her artwork, here she is just getting it started.

As she worked, Wild Child, our Head Hen at the time, came along to watch.  After all, this appeared to be a project, and all human projects require immediate chicken supervision.  It's in their union contract or something.  I'm actually surprised that she was the only one to come over, since roosters are well known to be nosey as old ladies and you can normally count on them to stick their beaks right into your business.

She stood there quite a while, soberly observing like she was southern California's pre-eminent art critic.

 Meanwhile, the chalk was spreading...

...and I think Wild Child realized that hey, SHE was a dark object that might look good with streaks of green, purple and pink...and wisely beat feet outta there before the kid noticed her.

She was a smart old bird and knew when to quit while she was ahead.

The chickens also supervised the rototilling of the back yard years ago.  We figured they'd naturally stay out of the way, since the rototiller was a noisy, scary goddamned thing, and bright red to boot.

Well, pretty quick Bear figured out the the Big Red Thing was SCRATCHING AND DIGGING UP WORMS, and anything that was doing that, was A-OK in her book.  She dutifully got right on my husband's heels to have first dibs on any yummy bugs he dredged up.

Hell, after a while the Big Red AutoChicken became their best buddy.

And after that, I had to put down the camera as they became outright enthusiastic when they figured out that when he tilted the front end up to get the tines to dig in they could SEE Digging Ground Zero, and they wanted to get in front of AutoChicken and stick their heads into the tines.
No amount of shooing would dissuade them, I had to get a broom and keep waving it in front of AutoChicken to keep anyone from getting mulched.

Once my husband was helping me out and cutting a hole in a piece of wood for a project I had underway. Suddenly I heard him complaining that Geraldine the tortoise was underfoot, which is what Geraldine did anytime you were out trying to do anything but pay attention to her.

An evil thought occurred.
"Hey,"  I told my three year old daughter, "Go see if dad needs any help."
So she did, gently laying her hand on his arm in sympathy to his Tortoise Situation.
"Dad, do you need any help?"

"No," he sighs, "I'm OK."  While shooting me a 'thanks a lot' look.  Meanwhile, Geraldine isn't going anywhere in any big damned hurry.

I can't stop laughing, because I ain't done with him yet.

"Wait," I tell him.  "Something's missing.  You need more help!"
From the back of the yard, out of sight, comes a loud burst of excited cackling and the thud of 42 sets of chicken feet.
*cue a chicken stampede as they all come tearing over, flapping to go faster*

They just keep pouring in from all over the yard, looking ashamed not to have been involved right from the get-go, like they've commited an unforgivable social gaff by not providing Immediate Chicken Supervision before now.  At this point he's leaning his head against the board and looking beaten.  Geraldine is helpfully standing on his foot, just in case he really thought he was going to get anything done without all this nonsense.

I'm laughing so hard I can hardly stand up.
Finally I take pity on him and call the kid back indoors, relocate the tortoise to the back of the yard and scatter some chicken goodies away from the work site.


  1. Replies
    1. Yeah, well I try to keep his life interesting. Poor guy.

    2. And I'm sure he'd want it no other way. :) We, the internets people, certainly wouldn't! We feed on your chicken photos, adventures, and witty captions!

      Have you been required to keep your book formal, or were you at liberty in choosing the style of writing you wanted?

    3. Still working out the details...this particular deal may come to pass or may not. I'd like to expand to more than just one area of discussion, we'll see.