Friday, January 8, 2016

Like a cork in a bottle...

I don't have a photograph to illustrate this story because time was of the essence, but I will try to draw a word picture for you. With help from real pictures.

A few days ago I shared a photo of one of my large Light Brahma hens in the tiny little coop that the wee Silky chicks live in.  She had gone in there to lay an egg, because apparently the nest boxes in her coop were inadequate.  So she had braved the ice and snow, hopped a 4 foot fence, and somehow managed to squeeze her large frame through the small door of the Silky palace.

This morning I saw her attempting to get into the Silky palace again.  She was not having much luck, and it was really rather comical to watch. I would have stayed to see how she managed to get in that small door, but it was something like 12 degrees out and I was beginning to lose sensation in my extremities so I went in the house instead.

This is a picture taken a few months ago. It shows the little door the hen was trying to access. Not only is it small, but it is sort of hour glass shaped. Even the diminutive Silky rooster has trouble getting in, and he is probably 2  pounds of bird covered in easily compressed fluff.

This picture is of one of the Light Brahma hens.  They are large chickens.  So large that the last time my horse veterinarian was here she said, "Holy Sh*t!  Those are some HUGE freaking chickens!"  I'd say they are 8 pounds or better.

It was around 7 AM when I saw "big bird" trying to get into the little coop.  A few minutes before 9 AM, and expecting my first customer at any moment, I happened to glance out the window.  Now, remember, it was quite cold outside.  I noticed that all the little Silky chickens were outside, and they were all looking rather longingly at the door to their coop.  It appeared that they wished they were inside, where there were dry shavings instead of snow and ice, protection from the wind, and an ample supply of food and water.  But the doorway was blocked.  By the head and chest of a Light Brahma hen.  I wondered, idly, if she were stuck. And it occurred to me that perhaps I should check.

So, I pulled on my tall boots, and shrugged into my cozy down coat, and out I went.  I'm not sure if I was imagining it, but the Silkies looked chilly.  And the Brahma?  She had one wing partially out the door, and one wing in.  She had a look on her face that was decidedly unhappy.  I watched a moment, and she struggled to move out of the little door, but could not.  She was wedged in tight. I pondered my options, trying not to laugh at her plight.  I failed.  I smiled, then I chuckled, then I think I even guffawed a bit.  The hen cast a cold dark eye upon me, and I did what I must.

I opened the hatch where one collects eggs, and sure enough, a still-warm brown egg was nestled neatly in the clean hay of the next box. I popped it in my pocket. Then I reached in and gently felt around the bird jammed in the door.  Yup, stuck.  Tightly.  Her legs were braced against the floor, pushing, pushing, trying to propel her out and into the yard.  But her heavy body was held firmly by the unyielding wood.  She protested mightily when she felt my hand exploring her nether-regions, and struggled intently. The one wing that was partially out slipped all the way to freedom, and she flapped it vigorously.  She began to squawk, too. Loudly. I pushed a bit, but she remained firmly ensconced. Bemused, I pushed a little harder, and she did, too, and then, with a rush of feathers, her bulk popped out the frame and she was free!  She ran across the snow, yelling her head off, back to her flock.

The Silkies filed, one by one, up the ramp and into the shelter of their snug home.  I shook my head, cupped the warm egg in my hand, and went in to work smiling. 

1 comment:

Sean Patrick said...

Reading anything you write never fails to bring a smile to my face Daryl but this time I think I too may have even guffawed a bit ;) I hope you never stop writing and I'm sure if I live just a few more years I will get to go in to Barnes and Noble one day and pick up a copy of your latest NYT Bestseller.