Monday, May 15, 2006

Mother's Day Gift, Chicken Escape, Chain Saw

This mobile was a gift from Carrie and Gabe for Mother's day. I haven't found the perfect place for it yet, but wherever I put it, it makes me laugh when I come apon it. The picture doesn't do it justice, but it is a crazy looking frog with googly eyes suspended above a copper spiral with glass jewels. It's the type of thing I might see in a catalogue and wish I had, so it is very much appreciated. Both kids called yesterday to wish me happy mother's day, but I was at David's for dinner and missed their calls. It made me feel good to hear their messages, though, when I got home.

The first, and I hope the last, near disaster with the new chicken pen took place this morning when David arrived to pick me up to go to the gallery. Benny slipped through the front door and took off at a dead run. After exploring a couple of back yards, he seemed to remember the chicken pen and headed for it. I moved faster than I thought I could, chasing him at a run (or my version of a run). He barely stopped at the fence, charging right through it and into the midst of the chickens. They flew in every direction, squawking in a panic. Benny quickly focused on Hannah and chased her up the path toward the road. She was barely ahead of him, avoiding his jaws by flying up out of reach in the nick of time. It's amazing how fast a chicken can run. It would have been only a matter of time, though, before Benny caught her had David not been in the flight path. In one masterful move he swooped down on Benny as he raced by and pinned him to the ground. Hannah fled. I grabbed Benny by the hair and flung him into the dog yard, whereapon David and I began to stalk Hannah. She led us on a merry chase before we finally herded her back into the pen.

When I looked into the chicken house to make sure everyone was accounted for, I found that new Esther was missing. David excused himself to go about his business at the gallery while I began my hunt for the elusive chicken. I searched for some time without success, and was chatting with my neighbor Donna about the situation when I spotted new Esther in the yard across the street. I went after her and eventually got her to go back into the pen, but it was an exhausting job. You can not catch a chicken who doesn't want to be caught, nor can you make them go where you want them to go without a lengthy argument. All's well that ends well, however, and I joined David at the gallery to set up chairs and tables for tomorrow's event of jurying in new members.

The path by which Hannah and new Esther fled the premises was one I had cut through the underbrush yesterday. I wanted to be able to get from the front of the house to the back yard without having to go through the dog yard. The bushes alongside the dog fence were overgrown and wild, so I cut them back. Timidly at first, and then more boldly, I snipped and trimmed and cut until I had made room enough to comfortably walk to the back. Emboldened, I tackled the huge lilac that had overtaken a large part of the yard. It was full of dead branches as big around as my arm and blocked my view of the chicken yard from the back porch. I began by cutting off the smaller branches, but once I was underway I saw that the problem needed bigger amunition. I borrowed David's chain saw and tackled the larger branches until I had finally taken away almost half the tree. I can tell you that once you have felt the thrill of a chain saw going through a tree limb it is hard to stop. I did manage to control myself, though, and made a very nicely shaped tree, so I think. The yard looks much more civilized, and I can watch the chickens from my chair on the porch.

There isn't much point in having chickens if you can't see them pecking around the yard in the picturesque way they have. They create a wonderful ambience, and I really don't like eggs. Posted by Picasa

No comments: