The Charmed Life (with Chickens)
I was talking with an acquaintance once in her home with her children as she related the current challenges and drama in her life. I sat and listened because she seemed like she needed to vent. Sometimes it’s a little nice to know that I’m not the only one with continual problems … not that I wish bad things on others. My daughter, who was fairly young at the time, played nicely with her daughter, and I suppose we must have seemed calm and as though nothing went wrong in our lives. She informed me that I wouldn’t understand her problem of having to get a tempered glass window at the bottom of her stairs because I led “such a charmed life.”
If I were drinking something, I probably would have spit it with the sudden burst of laughter I felt, but I think I ended up just frowning a little as I tried to understand what she had just said about me. I have a charmed life? She must be joking! But no, she was serious. I related the comment to my husband and it’s become a bit of a joke.
We remind each other when the truck sinks to the axels in mud for the third time in two days that we lead a charmed life. When the tractor gets stuck pulling out the truck, even more charmed. When the excavator won’t start to pull out the truck and tractor (which happened to have the batteries we need to jump start the excavator), even more charmed. When our animals die, get sick, or are injured – usually right before we leave on vacation – it’s a charmed life.
Sometimes these charmed aspects of our life are fairly weird or just funny. Sometimes it’s just hard to explain to the uniformed passerby. For example, how to you explain why you and your daughter are trying to hide the fact that you’re blow-drying a wet chicken? And, it’s not even raining outside, so how did the chicken get wet? Well, from the bath. Why would you bathe a chicken? Good question. It’s all part of a charmed life.
We all quite like our chickens. When we first got them, our children were young and held the chicks a lot. They became quite tame and attached to us. They would follow us around as we did chores and they talk in their curious little chicken voices and watch everything we did. They’re funny little creatures that are quite sociable.
As we acquired a few animals and were looking for opportunities to socialize our home schooled children, they happily joined one of the few 4H groups in our general area. Their leader was very busy, but so nice and willing to teach my children. When time for the county fair came around, someone with the fair informed their leader that they had a shortage of animals and wondered if there was a way we could all bring our chickens and extra rabbits, not just the ones they were showing.
My husband had hired the teenage son of a friend to help with a project at our place. As they worked, we tried to secretly bath the chickens as the 4H leader had instructed us. The teen walked past the utility sink to get tools and we tucked the chicken down in the corner so he couldn’t see it as he walked by. It seems like he went by a dozen times and became aware that we were standing still every time he passed holding something out of sight in the bottom of the sink. (The sink wasn’t filled with water.)
One time he paused, looked at us like we were crazy, looked in the sink at the sudsy chicken, and stared for a moment as if he wasn’t sure what he saw. He looked back at us without laughing and then just walked away. Yes, we are crazy. After the two chickens were washed, it was cool enough we needed to dry them. We called the 4H leader and she suggested a blow dryer.
So, the teen walked by and we didn’t try to hide it anymore. The gig was up. We were blow drying chickens. He just looked for a moment and went about his business. I wish I would have asked him, “What? Don’t you bathe and blow dry your chickens? Oh, you don’t have any? Well, you’re missing out.”
The best part of it all is that the chickens didn’t look any different after their baths than they did before!
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Wife to Brandon, mother to Tess and Liam, farmer, entrepreneur, cook & baker, nurse, and accountant who loves to try new things, travel, and work toward greater self-reliance.