Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rescue Mission

Yep, that's my butt, complete with poopy toddler feet, rubber gloves and kitchen shears.

I was all prepared to write a riveting blog post about how Titus pooped and peed on the coffee table yesterday when fortune smiled upon me and gave me something slightly less disgusting to write about. While checking on my dad's chickens (stealing eggs from them, let's be honest) we noticed that three of the hens had cotton twine tangled around their feet and legs, tying their legs together. They were able to hobble around but not very well, and it was obvious that something had to be done. Now, before you marvel at what a swashbuckling farm gal I am, you have to know that I am deathly afraid of chickens. So is Moses, and, after today, so is Titus. But we couldn't just leave them like that, so we armed ourselves with rubber gloves, a pair of scissors and bit the proverbial bullet.
Moses was in charge of catching them (yes - less chicken touching for me), which took a long time. Even though he is scared of chickens, his pride won't let him admit this fact, so he basically ran around the coop pretending to try to catch them. He would get within 3 feet of one of the tangled hens, dramatically lunge toward her while flailing his arms above his head and shout, "Almost got her! Man, they're slippery!" I, equally unable to admit my fear, followed him around at a safe distance shouting such encouraging phrases as "don't be scared - you're way bigger than them!" and "It won't even hurt if she pecks you - you're wearing gloves!" Lies, of course, but anything to keep me from having to catch them.
While all this was going on, neglected Titus fell into a mob of curious chickens who apparently didn't think he was a human and thus didn't pay him the usual respect of darting away from him in fear of his swift movements. They just closed in closer and closer while he screamed and waved his arms around. I rescued him just before they pecked his adorable chubby body to bits, but he was traumatized. So I spent the rest of the time lying to him while Moses and I finished up our rescue mission: "See, Titus, these chickens are nice!" "Poor old chicken, we don't want anything bad to happen to you," "Look at these cute, uh, scaly feet," and so on. He ignored me and alternated crying and screaming for the rest of the time. We must have made quite a sight for the neighbors. (Though I don't care too much what they think of me because of the two who could have seen me, one of them breeds deaf dogs and the other has a horse named Zachary who she regularly curses at. I mean, people-in-glass-houses and all that.) Picture a four year old wearing baseball gloves bear-hugging a chicken which is squawking and trying to peck his cheek. The four year old is screaming "I'm about to drop her" and his mother, wearing fluorescent pink kitchen gloves, is trimming string from the chicken's feet saying things like "What a nice little chicken" in a tremulous voice while a terrified toddler clutches her leg and screams bloody murder.

We were finally victorious. We caught each hen and untangled their feet without injuring any of them, and more importantly, not being eaten alive ourselves. It was quite a confidence boost - kind of like the first time you ride a really scary roller coaster and then feel like you could do anything. The adrenaline rush is pretty great. Yes, we are the awesomest non-farmy farmers on earth.


pam said...

This was HILARIOUS!!! I can't believe you didn't share this with us yesterday at study!! Oh well, i guess it may not have been appropriate...but talk about comic relief!!! <3

Suzanne said...

HA! That last shot of Moses... he looks like a Marvel superhero! Chicken Guy, or something. This post was awesome, and the pics are to die for. I would love to have a tour of your un-farmish farm sometime.

(Just FYI, last summer I tried to "clean" a few old hens that someone gave my mom. So the smell of boiled feathers? Makes me gag. Cutting open dead animals? Makes me gag. Good thing I wasn't a pioneer, or my family would have starved to death.)

Jen Mc. said...

Hilarious!! I love that you can remember Moses' actual quotes- the mark of a very good storyteller!

Heather said...

Suz - I was a vegetarian for 6 years after we killed and cleaned our first set of hens when I was a kid - all because of that SMELL of boiled feathers. UG! Raw chicken still brings it back to me...