Just when I thought that I had placed chickens at the top of my least favourite barn resident, something has happened to change my mind. The clutch of day old Rhode Island Red chicks that Greg bought when I was in England were, from the day their tiny little claws touched the ground here at the ranch, THE most unruly aggressive and difficult bunch of birds we have had to take care of since we got here. From the first week,….a potential little red rooster attacked feet hands or bucket (Interesting because it was supposed to be a run of pullets and testosterone wasn’t even supposed to be in the equation). The other 49 were on the reserve cast if Hitchcock ever made a remake of “The Birds”. Every time the chicken shack door opened it seemed 49 feathered F16s attacked. Each time I sneaked in, 49 were waiting just behind the door to make their mass breakout. I developed a master plan…I built my black plastic strip curtain to throw them off guard….they played with it and when the door creaked open, there they were, between the waving black plastic ribbons. I hated those little Rhode Island Red chicks, I dreaded feed time when both my feet, my buckets and my hands would be target zones and more than once my usually serene ( really ????) temper would snap. Something has changed. Of late, as I cautiously defensively open the old wooden door, the chickens, no longer chicks but now 4 months old are still waiting for me but it is different. One former “killer bird” is usually sitting on the kick board ( incidentally, between the waving black plastic ribbons) quietly chuntering. I step over the bird and she stays, continuing to quietly chunter until I gently pick her up and cuddle her when she almost seems to purr. All this is new to me, any time I picked a chicken up before there were three almost certain consequences…(1) I got pecked (2) I got pooped on and (3) as a result of the first 2….she turned into soup. Little red hen follows me around the chicken coop, loitering around my feet and continuing to chunter until I leave the shack when she hops up onto the kick board for another dose of loving. It is all quite disturbing !!
Today is my first book signing….and I’m a little nervous. If you would like to meet me, complete with bumpy cheek and bruised face, I would be happy to visit with you. I am going to be at the Vaughn Civic Center, in the Whitmore Room from 4 ‘till 6. Holly Hendrick has very kindly invited me to be there for the Fresh Food Revolution produce pickup, which is kind of fitting because the book wouldn’t exist without the farm. Thank you Holly.
On Friday I would love to meet you at The Blend opposite the Fire Station in key Center from 4pm. I believe “The Blend” on a Friday night is a great place for friendly locals to meet up and I’m sure it will be fun.
Carla is still away from the Ranch, from all the news reports swimming around California. Quatre has been busily coming and going and Michael has, each morning at 6.30am appeared rubbing the sleep from his eyes, ready for another day. Michael has become very fond of the animals and clearly the animals think he is pretty cool too. It is fun to have these young people sharing our lives and sad but gratifying to know that they can all move on from here to new lives but remember their time on the ranch and hopefully …us.
Got to go, take care, keep safe, M