“They’re like goldfish,” Monica said. We stood staring at the baby chicks running around the storeroom. Their feathers were starting to change colors, but they were still awfully small.
“What do you mean, goldfish?” I asked.
“They grow according to their environment, and they’ve been trapped in a little basket their whole lives, so they haven’t grown much.”
The theory sounded good, but what do I know about chickens? Then it hit me: she didn’t know anything about chickens either. “Are you sure?”
“Of course!” She feigned insult. I remained silent. A moment passed. Then she looked at me hesitantly before adding with a laugh, “I mean, I haven’t read it anywhere or anything...”
Still, it was good enough for me. “It’s time to move the chickens.”
However, we soon realized that was easier said than done.
First, we tried herding them with sticks. They didn’t cooperate. In fact, we looked so ridiculous the Old Man was bent over laughing at us from the peaceful security of his house.
So we tried catching them with a sheet. They were too quick. Every time we came within sheet-throwing distance, they’d scuttle out of range or take cover beneath a prickly bush. These goddam chickens are wiser in the way of warfare than they lead you to believe.
Then we resorted to the basket, catching Mamma underneath and scrambling around to convince the four chicks to join her. But the distance between the storeroom and the henhouse was simply too great! As we dragged the family along, Mamma’s foot or a baby’s wing or an entire chick itself would get caught between the thatch and the path, and we would cringe on their behalf, cease our movement, and stare at the broiling remaining distance. By this time the sun was at its zenith, and Monica and I were drenched in sweat.
Still, we refused to concede. We took a moment to strategize over a glass of water, built a chicken-catching contraption with a basket, a couple sticks, and our own wit, and tried again. To no avail.
Maybe the idea was sent from elsewhere, but it struck us both at the same time: With the chickens in the basket, we shifted them over the sheet, wrapped the corners tightly to prevent any openings, and lifted everything. All five rascals were squawking and squealing, but they were sealed and transportable. We carried the chickens to their new home, shifted the basket on its side, with the sheet between the chickens and the henhouse door. Then, like two proud magicians, we let the sheet drop. Mamma, Thelma, Louise, Beatrice and Mammacas flew frantically into their new home.
We sealed the door just in time for Vasentha to arrive. She looked at us, standing and sweating beside the hen house. She looked at the Old Man, laughing from a distance. And she looked at the animals playing in the dirt within caged walls. “Super.”
Monica and I may get the hang of this after all.
- It takes a village to raise a child - African saying
- Nature is our best teacher
- we are the world, we are the ones to make a brighter day!..
- Natural farming, food forest
- We dig our grave with our teeth
- Freedom of expression is my birth right
- Freedom of speech comes with great responsibility
- I become what I see in myself. All that thought suggests to me, I can do; All that thought reveals to me, I can become. This should be man’s unshakeable faith in himself, because God dwells in him.
- The Mother said - it is not this OR that, it is this AND that
- Life is for living not to understand
- "Sometimes you can't see the forest through the trees."