April 6, 2014 – We enjoyed a lovely outing in the side yard today. While Mom installed a new tree limb roost in our run, we bathed in the worn spot under the smelly bush, scratched and rattled the dirt in the herb garden to wake up earth dwelling bugs, and played, “I’ve got the worm!” – A fantastic game of keep away that gets even the most sedentary hen up and running. There are still a few patches of snow on the ground, but nothing we couldn’t maneuver around. After Mom ushered us back into the run, we celebrated the day with an outdoor spaghetti dinner! We set up the folding tables, turned on the twinkle lights, and set the classical music playlist on our iPod to loop. We were about to take our seats for a delicious smelling meal when I noticed Wilma at the back fence gazing thoughtfully into the woods.
“Are you thinking about the brewery,” I asked sidling up next to her. “I’m looking forward to work tomorrow. By the way, I still need to talk to Mom. Oh, and Sawyer and I are taking a couple of hours off in the morning to run an important errand. It will benefit the business in the long run, but I’m not comfortable talking about the details until I get back. I’ll still get all of my tasks completed, so you don’t need to peck me in the head like you usually do.”
I was babbling. Maybe because I was hungry and we were waiting on Wilma to eat. I looked at her and realized she wasn’t moving. It was as if I wasn’t even there. I stood on my toes and leaned in close to smell her breath. She was alive alright. I think she had onions for lunch.
“WILMA!” I barked into her ear. “What are you doing?!”
Slowly her head turned until her eyes met mine. “It’s called MEDITATION. I’m picturing myself in a rowboat anchored in a craggy cove as gentle waves lull me into a calm and restful state.”
Huh? “Are you drunk,” I probed, for this was not the Wilma I knew.
“No, you nitwit!” she snarled, more like her usual self. “I’m entering henopause. The night sweats are driving me crazy. This is supposed to help. Ah, never mind. It’s all a bunch of crap. Where’s the spaghetti?”
Ah, the familiar sass I’ve come to love. I pulled out a chair for our elder hen and whispered in her ear as she sat down. “I’ll set you up with a fan when you’re ready to roost, and later in the week – if all goes well, I’ll take you to the beach for a lobster roll. We can meditate over onion rings.”
She leaned over and pecked me in the forehead. “I’d like that,” she nodded, before slurping down a piece of pasta.
Oh my goodness, this hen makes me laugh.