Surprise Butt Freakout!
It’s been a long spring, but now that summer is almost here, everything’s about to settle down for me. Of course, this settling will probably only last for two weeks, but I’ll try to make the most of it. My ten page paper that was due swelled to 13 pages, and you’d think it would be a relief to be done, but it’s actually kind of like trying to sleep after a stressful late-night drive home. It takes a little while to decompress. Probably like two weeks. Then it’s back into the grinder.
Luckily, I have chickens, which I find therapeutic, provided I get to spend time with them. When I’m overworked, it’s not always possible, but it’s nice if I can fit it in. The weather has been pretty decent lately, so outdoors with the birds is usually the best place to be, at least until the mosquitoes blossom. And even on the days that I can’t let the chickens out due to time constraints (you know, like non-weekends) I can always pay a visit and talk to them through the fence, while hoping that the neighbors aren’t out. I’ve learned to check for witnesses after the “Way to go, chickies!” incident of a while back. I suppose the damage is already done, but I at least sometimes try to appear sane. It doesn’t usually take, and I don’t try very hard, but you know. It’s the thought that counts, or something. Luckily my chicken duties and visitations tend to fall during non-cookout hours, so that helps keep the embarrassment to a minimum. At least as far as talking to chickens while your neighbor is out goes.
In the event of an emergency, I may throw all concerns about appearances out the window, though. This holds true in the event of a perceived emergency also. These are the kind that are much more frequent. For example, if it’s sunny out, Boss Chicken is usually out basking, but one day not too long ago I walked out to visit everyone, and she was nowhere to be seen. I opened the door to the main part of her hutch, and stuck my head in. She was in the bedroom part, with her “business end” pointed in my direction. “Maybe she just wanted to take a nap,” I thought. Then her butt enlarged like nothing I had ever seen, and I was certain something really bad was about to happen. “Just my luck to stick my head in as she prolapses,” I said to myself, and after about a second or two of what seemed like a sure cloaca disaster, an egg popped out and her butt went back to normal. “Oh,” I said. “So that’s what was happening.” In all my time of raising chickens, I had never actually seen an egg bust out of the egg chute up close. That seems amazing, but here we are. The Boss had once laid an egg next to me, but the barrel of the egg gun had been pointed in the other direction, so I hadn’t witnessed the whole mechanics of the act. I’m not going to say it wasn’t freaky, and I’m not going to say I’m all fired up to see it again. But I will say I’m glad that I actually saw it, as egg laying is a key part of this whole chicken venture. I’d just like a little more warning next time. Maybe if she yells, “Fire in the hole!” beforehand or something to let me know not to panic. Because chickens yelling always calms me down.
(CREDITS: Theme music: Chicken In The Barnyard by Fireproof Babies, Music Bed: The Old Red Barn Medley Quadrille by John Baltzell)