birds of a feather

Chicken Run, it turns out, is the story of my life. But instead of playing the determined, capable and charismatic chicken (as I always assumed I would if cast in a barn-themed movie), I would play the evil, ruthless chicken-hunting villain determined to keep the chickens cooped. That is certainly how Frannie Sue  perceives my life at least.

How do I know this? For the past couple of weeks, mornings at the doodle house have consisted of invigorating little games of “Chase the Chicken,” in which I, or Heath, spend a good 5 minutes herding Frannie Sue (and it’s always Frannie Sue) from the front yard—into which she has somehow managed to appear—back into the rear.

Despite being constantly fed and tended to, Frannie Sue is determined to escape (so determined, in fact, I’ve considered renaming her Andy Dufresne), and she always finds a way. Over the fence. Through a hole. Beamed by Scotty…what have you. This was all well and good because for one reason or another, Frannie Sue called her escape quits once she hit the front yard. This is either because:
1.) She is a “chicken” in the sense that she is too afraid and cowardly to proceed any further.
2.) She is an idiot.
3.) She is as loyal a bird as Stella is a doodle and can’t bare any real separation as she fears the inevitable anxiety it would cause.

I’d like to give credit to either choices 1 or 3 as they imply some sort of forward thinking on the chicken’s part, but in all actuality, number 2 is probably our best bet.

Or so I thought, until…

FRANNIE SUE RECRUITED MARION INTO HER ESCAPADES.

I arrived home yesterday afternoon to find not one, but TWO CHICKENS pecking around the front yard. I was heart broken.

Marion, how could you? I thought we had moved beyond our rocky history and started fresh?  I thought you knew we were here to provide a port in the storm, protection from neighborhood cats, constant eating of your babies. We gave you a new friend with whom to play and this is how you repay me? 

Francis Sue, you tricky little devil. You recruited your mentor, your mother-figure, your friend, to join you on your quest to escape The Doodle House. Escaping alone wasn’t good enough, so you poisoned the well and got innocent, sweet Marion to join you. There will be consequences.

I put my devastation aside for a moment to engage in “Chase the Chicken, Level 2″ and got the ladies back into doodle territory ASAP. My plan worked well enough, but I was still left with a tricky predicament. What’s a girl to do with 2 renegade chickens?

The way I see it, I’ve got 3 choices:

• I can do nothing and hope the chickens continue to abandon their escape plan once they reach yardus frontus. It’s a risky choice but one that takes the delicate feelings of the chickens into consideration.
• I can clip their wings which seems logical enough but I’m a bit squeamish and unqualified to perform such a complicated surgery. Plus it would only add to the trauma I seem to have at some point caused them.
•  Keep ‘em cooped. Good for the yard, bad for chicken morale.

Such are the stresses of my life and the lives of those at The Doodle House. Chickens, I beg you, keep the shenanigans on this side of the fence and spare yourselves the drama that may be to come.


4 Comments on “birds of a feather”

  1. kmom says:

    I fear the girls are living on borrowed time if they continue this behavior. Just too many dangers lurk in the front yard (literally and figuratively). I did hear a “pasture chicken” farmer talk about how he kept his hens in a portable coop. This protected them from varmits and also forced them to vary their foraging as he said they would peck around the same area relentlessly if he didn’t move their coop around to new turf. So maybe they are not “idiots” but just sort of territorial. I think I would bone up on wing clipping.

  2. Leah says:

    “Instead of playing the determined, capable and charismatic chicken (as I always assumed I would if cast in a barn-themed movie)..”

    This made me laugh out loud. I like you. If you go with the first option, and they decide to just hit the road, will you put up signs on telephone polls, etc. with details of your lost chicks?

  3. Anonymous says:

    “This was all well and good because for one reason or another, Frannie Sue called her escape quits once she hit the front yard. This is either because:
    1.) She is a “chicken” in the sense that she is too afraid and cowardly to proceed any further.
    2.) She is an idiot.
    3.) She is as loyal a bird as Stella is a doodle and can’t bare any real separation as she fears the inevitable anxiety it would cause.”

    4.) She was afraid to cross the road…


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