Following on from my posts about the weird and wonderful things that my animals have brought home I will tell you a story about Dweebe, my long departed Chow/German Shepard Cross.
One Saturday morning, many moons ago, I was sleeping in while my husband was working his weekend job while putting himself through college. I woke and rubbed my eyes and heard, strangely enough, a gentle clucking sound coming from the corner of the bedroom. It occurred to me that a gentle clucking sound is not what I should be hearing in my bedroom on a Saturday morning. I looked over and saw Dweebe, sat in the corner of the bedroom with a live chicken in her mouth. The chicken appeared to be in no distress whatsoever and was apparently quite content to be in Dweebe’s mouth as if being in her mouth were a normal part of the chickens day, she just looked at me and clucked. “Put it down sweetpea” I said to Dweebe and she dutifully laid the chicken on the ground and I picked it up and checked it for any injuries. There were none. Apart from a little Dweebe slobber the chicken was in perfect shape and she clucked as I held her under my arm.
At this point I realized that there was a huge and gaping hole in my plan to rescue the chicken. I was naked. I knew I would have to return the chicken to the forest from whence it came but I had now put myself in the situation where I was cradling a live chicken under my arm naked. As I said, my husband was at his weekend job so I could not say to him “here sweetie hold this” while I got dressed, although to think about it can you imagine that scenario? You are happily sleeping and your spouse wakes you up, hands you a live chicken and says “hold this while I get dressed”.
I stroked the chicken’s head and pondered my predicament. I had six cats and four dogs. The idea of gently laying the chicken down and getting dressed was not really an option, the cats had already become curious and were looking at me warily from the bedroom door, the possibility of the chicken suddenly attempting to escape and flapping around the bedroom would result in a four dog, six cat, one chicken horror movie which would result in me hiding under the bed in an attempt to save myself from all of the claws and teeth and fur and feathers and heaven knows what else.
With the chicken tucked firmly under my arm I picked out my clothes, jeans, long socks, a sweatshirt, boots for I knew where I would be going to return the chicken. My subdivision was built on the edge of a large swamp. Several years prior someone (I am assuming a marine as they are the most transient in this area) thought it would be a good idea to keep chickens and turkeys in their back yard. They moved on and they left the chickens and turkeys to fend for themselves in the swamp. I would be woken on regular mornings by the Cockerel crowing and it was obvious that the chickens had formed quite the colony in the swamp.
It took me almost thirty minutes to get dressed as I swapped the chicken from one arm to the other while I pushed my legs into jeans and my arms into a sweatshirt. She clucked occasionally, but seemed content and she perked up as I left the house. I wandered out to the garden and closed the gate behind me so Dweebe could not follow me. The cats however were not so constrained by silly things like gates and I walked down into the swamp Pied Piper like followed by a procession of cats wondering what I was about to do.The further I got into the swamp the less cats followed me, it of course involved wet feet, and as we all know the one thing cats hate is wet feet.
I pushed through the swamp and eventually came to the clearing where the chickens were living. There were some in the low branches of the trees, some scratching about on the swamp floor, and they looked at me warily as I entered their domain. I gently set the chicken down and she quickly fluttered her wings and landed on a low branch next to another chicken. She began clucking and no doubt telling her fellow chicken what had happened to her. As I turned and walked back to the house followed by the last of the cats I could hear the conversation. “Well you would not believe what happened to me this morning” Other chicken “what was that dear?” “well I was just minding my own business then suddenly I was in this dogs mouth” “ooooooooh do tell”.