August 13, 2014 – I could hardly wait to hear Waffles’ exciting news. Thankfully, she didn’t make us wait. She called for us to gather around the run after breakfast and spoke to us from her spot on the thinking log.
“Fellow fowl,” she began with dramatic flare. “Yesterday, I was walking by Mom’s office window trying to figure out how to get into the herb garden. Did you notice how long the cucumber plants have grown? I can’t get in without wading through waves of spiny vines.”
“GET ON WITH IT ALREADY,” Wilma bellowed.
Waffles tossed the old bird a look before clearing her throat.
“Yesterday, I overhead Mom on the phone talking to her sister about a challenge that many humans are accepting. It has to do with raising money for a charity. I don’t have the specifics on the money part, but… the challenge piece seems right up our alley. Maybe we should help Mom out. All we have to do is dump a bucket of ice water over each other’s heads and film it.”
“Then what happens,” I asked.
“I don’t know…” Waffles admitted. “But I’m sure Mom could fill us in.”
“What kind of lunatic would let someone dump a bucket of water over her head?” Wilma grumbled. “How is that helping a charity?”
“Wait a minute,” Charlotte interrupted. “I think I read about this in the newspaper. It’s for ALS research. ALS is a horrible human disease – much worse than bumblefoot or a bad case of worms.”
Everyone cringed at that image.
“I read about it too,” said Addie nodding her head. “If someone challenges you, you have to video having a bucket of ice water dumped over your head. Then, you upload the video to Facebook and send a small donation to the ALS Association. If you decline the challenge, you’re supposed to send in a $100 donation.”
We thought about it for a moment – it certainly is an interesting way for humans to help out those in need. Our flock would do the same. We look after one another.
“I’m in!” I announced suddenly to the still pondering pack.
“Me, too!” said Sawyer.
“And me!” Peaches declared cheerfully.
Soon, every chicken in our flock with the added support of the three ducks, declared intent to help our human friends. We would take the ALS ice bucket challenge. We agreed to meet on the side yard an hour later. Each participant was to bring his/her own bucket and bag of ice. Thankfully, we have the ice maker at the brewery so we had plenty on hand. I took a few minutes with Waffles to set up the camera on the ladder. We decided to get everyone at once and used a remote control to start the recording.
We reconvened not far from the duck house. A nervous excitement worked through the throng of feathered do-gooders. Ice laden buckets were filled with water and goggles were strapped in place as we assembled in a small circle. On the count of three, we turned and poured a bucket over the head of the friend in front of us. It was brilliant!
“WHOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!” I hollered, laughing as a rush of freezing water cascaded down my back.
“SON OF AN OMELETTE!” Waffles blared.
“I FROZE MY FUZZY BITS!” Charlotte snorted.
“LET’S DO IT AGAIN!” the pullets cheered.
Addie cackled so hard she wet her feathers. No one noticed. We haven’t laughed that intensely since yesterday. Even Wilma chuckled. Violet doused her with an extra chilly torrent of water that left the queen sputtering obscenities and dancing in circles. What a hoot!
When we dried off sufficiently, we knocked on Mom’s window but she didn’t answer. She was already outside and had witnessed the entire event.
“How did you know?” I asked her.
“I heard Wilma muttering about something and came out to investigate. I didn’t want to interrupt. I am so proud of all of you. Well done, everyone.”
Mom took the same challenge later in the day with the rest of the family. We’re sending in our check tomorrow. Mom was going to take care of it, but we decided to make a donation from our beverage business.
I have to say that once we all dried off, we looked exquisite! Cold water must be a beauty agent. We had a late dinner of corn on the cob and sat around the fire pit to take the chill off. I think I spotted Wilma tossing a plastic tumbler over her head, but I can’t be sure. At least her wayward feathers are back in position.
I love being a chicken. I wonder what tomorrow will bring?