January 24, 2014 – I took a walk today. It was cold, yes, but the sun was shining and it felt good to have a change in scenery. I didn’t tell anyone. I know… it’s a bad habit I have. But I didn’t go very far. I toddled around our neighborhood, whistling as I went, peeking into everyone’s yard and bursting trash barrels. It is recycling day, or as I like to think of it – Happy gets a new treasure.
I was nearly home and empty handed, when something shiny caught my eye in a bin two houses down. I bent over to get a closer look and saw my own face looking back at me. Wow! It was a round shower mirror with a broken band. I was going to pick it up, but became mesmerized with my reflection. I never realized how lengthy my beak is. In the knit cap I was wearing, my honker looked even bigger! Had my beak always taken up such a large portion of my face? I couldn’t stop looking at myself. I was leaning so far into the bucket that I fell in when the vibration of the trash truck shook the ground beneath me. I didn’t even hear it come up the road! I was butt feathers over teakettle when the burly “salvage engineer” picked up the bin and tossed it to his buddy behind the compactor. I couldn’t see his face but I heard him say, “In you go!” The next thing I knew, I was swimming in a pile of plastic and paper, trying desperately to stay afloat. The truck jerked forward and I felt a sinking wave of desperation wash over me. How do these things keep happening to me?!
I caught a break when the beastly collection vehicle hit a piece of ice and fishtailed. It spun completely around and stopped, as luck would have it, at the end of our driveway. The guys slammed it into park while they steadied their nerves and tossed a shovel of sand under the tires. The truck stayed motionless long enough for me to climb out and hightail it into the backyard.
When I popped back into the henhouse out of breath and clearly frazzled, Wilma asked what I had been doing.
“Oh, just getting a bit of air,” I replied. “Do you think I have a big beak?”
“I think you have a big need to annoy me,” she imparted, before hopping down off the roost and walking away.
They say that cats have nine lives. I think chickens have that record beat by a mile; Or in my case… a very lengthy, albeit breathtakingly beautiful, beak!