Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nights in Black Velvet

I know, I made it seem like this place was all tranquil Arcady in yesterday‘s blog. But the truth is, there is a little bit of wacky at the old farmhouse. Think ‘Arcadia’ mixed with a dash of ‘Cold Comfort Farm.’

To begin with, let me state that getting chickens and roosters out of their coop is way easier than getting them back in. Roosters can be bizarrely aggressive, and your Northside all-weathers or your cowboy boots or black, low top chucks are only going to protect so much. There is a crazy as hell bantam rooster who is out to murder me and I have the bruises on my knee to prove it. However, roosters know next to nothing about human anatomy, so he was not as near to my essential organs as he believed. Muahhahah.

And then, there is Bob. Bob is special. And by special I mean he has some sort of genetic problem that causes him to look and act abnormal. Other chickens will sense this, and sometimes try to kill him. So Bob roosts alone at night, in his own private bachelor pad. Mom explained that Bob was a party animal and may need “extra coaxing” to get him back in the coop. This translates to chasing him around the garden in the dark for 45 minutes. I finally managed to whack him off the fence with my flashlight and while he was still dazed from the blow, scoop him up and stuff him back into his coop.

In bed, at last. Or I would have been, if there weren’t three good sized dogs already in it!! I fought them off and claimed a little chunk of sleeping territory, which did all right until midnight. That was when Velvet woke up feeling playful, so she nipped the back of my head and gnawed on my arm before I got up and let her out. And of course, after that, one by one, each dog decided it was time to have a wee and a sniff about the yard. It wouldn’t be so bad if they would all go together, but no, the rounds have to be made by one’s self. Otherwise, someone might miss some very important sniffing.

I gave up on sleep at that point and decided to make my way to the kitchen for a snack and hot cocoa. My rummaging about woke Grandma, who marched into the kitchen STARK NAKED to see if she could help me with anything, you know, fry me up an egg or whatnot. “Thank you, grandma, but no,” I told her, as I found I suddenly had no appetite.

So. It’s not all idylls and shepherds here. No sir. I’m willing to bet I’ll find “something nasty in the woodshed,” if I look very hard.

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