June 20, 2013– Encouraged by yesterday’s hot air balloon visit, I decided to make one of my own! We have plenty of gadgets around the garage but I scored a picnic basket for the gondola that could easily carry three chickens. Sawyer was a bit hesitant with my selection due to the whole BBQ chicken-in-a-basket association, but I assured her that we were fine. I found a bag of balloons left over from my birthday party that she and Peaches agreed to inflate while I collected the bungee cords that would connect them to the basket. It wasn’t as glamorous as the professional version, but when it was finished, I was confident it would fly. We quickly lifted the lids and scrambled up into the cabin. I released the ground rope from the fence of the chicken yard and within seconds we were airborne! WHOO HOO! What a rush to fly up and over the backyard! As we soared, we watched a shrinking image of Wilma run to our launch site waving an angry wing of disapproval. We flew over the top of our neighbor Prudence’s house and then the barn on Mrs. Turner’s farm. We were having a ball, enjoying the thrill of a lifetime until Sawyer spotted a red-tail hawk that was barreling toward us with ill intent in its eyes. I had no choice but to force a drop in altitude. I pulled out one of Charlotte’s knitting needles and began popping balloons like a madman. Oh, how our inflatable aircraft fell. The hawk finally gave up, but a mile from home we hit the ground harder than a Texas rig drilling for oil. We got banged up a bit, but other than a few bumps and bruises we are fine. The only part left of the picnic basket is the handle. The girls and I tossed it back and forth on the long walk home as we debated which one of us would deal with Wilma. I lost. Oh well, the experience was well worth the hour I endured listening to Wilma’s tirade on chicken safety.
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