It’s been a hot summer. I have fallen into my summer routine of doing outdoor chores either before 11am, or after the sun has fallen past the treeline. You won’t catch me out much during mid-day, unless it is in 100% shade. The heat has a way of turning us crazy. Not just humans, but apparently it works on chickens, too.
Last week, Jason completed fencing in our chicken coop and orchard. I admittedly did not help much…I am just not a ‘work in the heat’ person. I tend to forget what I’m doing, wander off, and end up in the house somehow. This is why I can somewhat sympathize with the Wayward sisters. If you are not familiar with Wayward Jones, my ever-lost chicken, you’ll have to read my post called “Where’s Wayward” first. Now you can continue.
I don’t remember if I mentioned it before, but Wayward has a sister who looks almost identical, except she has more white feathering on her head, causing her to look EVEN MORE like a strange black and white version of Big Bird, or perhaps even a chicken lollipop. Anyway, the fact is, is that they are the most mindless little birds…I’m not sure now if it’s intentional or unintentional or what. About a week or so ago, before the fence was up, we were still having to catch some of the chickens nightly and put them up for the night. I have 2 sets of chickens that I must pay special attention to: The Dovies, which are a pair of tiny, dove-sized Old English Bantam hens who enjoy scaling trees at dusk and laughing at us attempting to retrieve them…and then, of course, the Wayward Sisters, who could get lost in a paper sack.
So, one day at dusk, I couldn’t find the Sisters. Oh, of course, they had been around earlier, but now were nowhere to be seen. A little bit of panic always sets in when I can’t find the Sisters, because there is no telling where they could be. Finally, I decided to take the golf cart and go check by the road. I pulled the cart out of our gate. There, at the VERY tip-top of the hill no more than about 18 inches off the (very dangerous) road, I saw a familiar lollipop-looking head.
“WAYWARD!”, I screamed. The lollipop stood straight up and stiffened. “WAYYYYYYWARD!”
I flew through the ditch as fast as the cart would go. The lollipop-headed chicken ran towards me. ‘Chariots of Fire’ was playing (I think). Golf cart thundering down the side of the road, chicken running with wings outstretched….you get the picture.
Anyway, as it turned out, it was THE Wayward Jones, but I still couldn’t find her sister. Fortunately, her sister also responds to the name ‘Wayward’, so I was still screaming that, driving up and down the road, holding a black and white chicken. It was probably pretty funny for the passersby.
I finally gave up and decided that I was just going to have to leave it up to chance. Either she would be around in the morning, or she wouldn’t. Well, I woke up the next morning and she wasn’t. We had to leave later in the day to run errands, and as we pulled out of the gate, Jason said, “Well, I’ll be damned.”. There was Wayward Sister #2, sitting about a foot off of the road. I could have sworn I saw a tiny knapsack and a sign saying, “Mexico or Bust”, but maybe it was just the heat playing tricks on my brain. Once again, ‘Chariots of Fire’. She excitedly ran in circles (God bless those chickens, they just can’t get it right), and hopped in my arms.
So NOW I have learned that the Sisters are not to be let out of the chicken yard. Unless I want them to end up being little black and white spots on the road, which I do NOT. After all, we have made it all this way, all these months together of finding them in the pasture, trees, kitchen windows, toy dump trucks, and by the road. I’m not giving up now.