When we drove to a nearby city on Friday, January 27th to check into the hospital to give birth, we thought we’d only be gone a couple of days, and so we prepared for being gone only a couple of days. But as fate would have it, it turned out to be seven.
J-Dub drove back to our home about 3 times during that week to check on things, get the mail, do a little work, overall, just tend to the things that needed to be tended to.
Of course in a situation like this, a lot of necessary tasks are overlooked for a short time, one of which being the chickens. We left the chickens out, as is our custom, to free-range the place. They had plenty of food and water and fresh air. The day after we returned, I quickly went out to do a head count. Thirteen is the magic number. But only twelve chickens did I find. A yellow one was gone.
Naturally, I assumed the worst. My mind returned to the coyote snatching that occurred a few months ago. I quickly did a half-way-walk-around-the-place for any signs of demise like a plethora of feathers scattered about. I checked the horse tanks, as we all know my chickens are fond of nearly drowning in a horse tank. There were no signs.
I counted my losses, allowed myself a moment or two to grieve, and returned to the house. Since then, J-Dub’s been penning them up for me at night. Their range is no longer free. They are jailbirds, for their own good.
Yesterday evening, a guest speaker was speaking at the church. J-Dub was asked to play the drums for the praise and worship time. He didn’t bother to unhook his horse trailer from his pick-up as he would be using it this morning to haul some horses to a nearby town for breeding. Shortly before the service was to begin, I received a text from my husband informing me that a yellow chicken was in the church parking lot. Evidently, she had hitched a ride to church in the horse trailer and then flew out once they were stopped.
Fortunately, some friends of ours recognized her and as the music was gearing up inside the church, I can only imagine our friends running around the parking lot chasing a stow-away chicken.
She was captured, trapped, and returned safely to her home later that evening.
I’m glad she’s home, and plus it gives me hope. If one chicken can hitch a ride to church, perhaps my lost chicken is not dead after all. Maybe , just maybe, she crossed the road and hopped a train. Perhaps right now she’s drinking a Pina Colada in Mexico. Living the life. I can see her. Beach chair, sunhat and shades, bikini, sipping on a long straw. Because, after all, the winter’s do suck here.