Saturday, May 30, 2009

Death Wish

Twice in the last three days I have found Poppy outside the pen. The first time was at 11pm when I walked home from dinner with David and Thom. As I started to open the door to go in I heard the unmistakable sound of cackling nearby. In the light of the streetlight I could see Poppy happily pecking away in the garden in front of the house. Needless to say it is quite a challenge to get a chicken to go where you want her to go, especially in the dark. By the time I had gone in to get my flashlight, she had disappeared. I searched and searched, but it's a big world out there and a chicken is small and cunning.
At one point I discovered her hiding under Diana's lilac bush, but by the time I had opened the gate to shoo her in, she was gone again.

As is my habit, I soon began to cry and babble about the chances of a chicken surviving the night in the open. Also as is my habit, I could not give up. How long I searched, I have no idea, but finally I spotted her half hidden by the blue tarp covering some construction materials next door. Somehow I was able to chase her into the pen, into the chicken house, and lock the door.

It's amazing how an experience like that can be so intense, and then once it's over it vanishes as if it had never happened. I closed the gate to the chicken yard as always, walked back to the front door, opened it and walked in to the ecstatic dogs just as I always do, my tears vanished, my heart back in normal rhythm.. It's as if the earth closes in on the unexpected, and all one has to do is right the wrong to make it disappear.

Today I found her out again, casually strutting around in the deep grass of the back yard next door. There's always an escape artist in every bunch.
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