May 16, 2014 – It is so muggy today that one of my head feathers has curled into a spiral. I look like an alien! We took the short ride over to the post office to obtain passport applications in preparation for the big trip. The woman behind the counter stifled a chuckle when I asked her for assistance. She took out a squirt bottle and shot a blast of cold water at my head. Then she patted down my feathers! I wasn’t asking for help with my hairdo! I was asking for help with the forms!! I was flabbergasted and couldn’t speak. I thought – surely one of my family members will step up and take the lead where I failed, but instead, they all lined up behind me and started bawking, “Me next! Squirt me next!”
The woman behind the counter obliged. I watched dumbfounded as she delightedly squirted one chicken after the next on top of the head, under the wings, along the back. How did this get so out of hand? Sawyer, Addie, Charlotte… even Wilma, clucked with glee as if they were out on the side yard barreling down the Slip-n-Slide in the middle of summer.
“What a great place the post office is!” Peaches called over the joyful fracas.
I finally had to tap-tap-tap the bell on the counter in order to get everyone’s attention. They stood before me – a ragtag group of dripping wet chickens and a disheveled postal worker covered in feathers.
“What’s wrong, Hap?” Sawyer asked.
“What’s wrong? Look at us! How can we have our passport photos taken when we look like a lousy lot of hooligans?”
“Oh, we don’t do passport photos,” said the woman in the blue uniform as she picked wet down from her eyebrows. “We only submit the forms on your behalf. You need to get the pictures done somewhere else… the pharmacy; the town hall… why I think even the library is offering the service now.”
The library? Seriously?!
“Take these forms home, fill them out, attach the photos and bring them back to me. I’ll put a rush on the order so you will have them back in time for your trip.”
I thanked the woman for the information. As I turned to leave I heard Peaches invite her to our house for a barbecue over the summer. The other hens quickly joined in proposing a wonderful meal and a hootenanny to boot. She was so tickled by the offer that she gave us all a commemorative stamp depicting different modes of transportation. I got an airplane. It will make a wonderful addition to my stamp collection.
What a day! What started out as a legitimate errand turned into a spectacle, which then in turn, became the seed to a brilliant new friendship with the woman behind the counter at the post office.
I buffed the top of my head with a towel I keep in the truck.
“Where to,” Sawyer asked taking the towel to her own feathers.
“The town hall,” I answered. “We don’t have the time for another go around with Eunice at the library.”
“TO THE TOWN HALL!” the rest of the chickens echoed from the truck bed as if they were clinking beer steins during Oktoberfest.
I stole a glance at them in the rear view mirror and started laughing. Feathers were out of order all over the place and no one seemed to mind. This is the merriest bunch of birds in the entire world. I am so fortunate to be a part of them. How could I be anything but “Happy”.