November 12, 2013 – I was working on advertising layouts for next year’s beer products when I heard Mom’s voice getting closer. I had just enough time to close the laptop and slide the poster boards behind my desk before she opened the coop door. It really is amazing to me that she hasn’t uncovered our adult beverage operations. We must be doing a great job at being stealth. Now that the trees in the woods are bare, I can see the trail that leads to our distillery from the top step of the henhouse. If she happens to take the dogs on a walk through there, she’s bound to come upon our site. We did a great job closing it up for the winter. We even camouflaged it with birch bark, but Mom has a keen eye. My conscience is nagging me to come clean about it.
I went outside to join the others as Mom laid bowls of hot oatmeal and apples on the ground for us. It was mighty tasty and the perfect snack for a frosty day. I watched her smile as we devoured the treat. I couldn’t lie to her any longer.
“Mom,” I blurted while the other’s still had their heads in the bowl. “I need to tell you something. The other chickens and I have been running a beer and moonshine distillery out in the woods without your permission. We’re really good at it, and we’ve made an impressive amount of money thus far. We closed up shop for the winter, but we’re planning to build a permanent structure in the spring and we already have orders to fill when we do. I’m sorry we kept it from you.” The heads of the others snapped up, shocked by my disclosure.
Mom listened to my outburst with mild amusement before responding. “I particularly like the Chicken Scratch Pale,” she said. “Though truth be told, the hooch isn’t half bad.”
What?! She knew? “How…”
“The bowling alley,” she answered before bending down to pick up the empty bowls. “I expect I’ll see the final plans, permits and licensing all in place before you break ground on the new facility?”
I was absolutely flabbergasted. What this a trap? The wide eyes of my co-conspirators indicated that they had the same concern as me.
“Yes, Ma’am,” I nodded. “Nothing happens beyond this point without your approval.”
“Good,” she said and walked away.
In that moment, I wondered what else this amazing woman knew about the secret goings-on inside the chicken yard.