August 27, 2014 – What a whacky day! First of all, it was a blazer! The thermometer on the back porch hit ninety degrees! The past two weeks have been so delightful, that we were lulled into blind contentment. Addie and Sawyer even exchanged hearty recipes for baked squash pie and night crawler stew. I remember telling them; don’t pull out your woolen socks just yet! Mother Nature will let you think she’s all done with one season and then, WHAM! She’ll snap it back in focus.
I was outside trying to find a shady spot under the porch when I heard the air conditioner in Mom’s office click on. That was it, I decided. Today, I would pay her a visit and while we were chatting, cool off in the refreshing chill of the house.
When I knocked on the door, no one answered. I figured maybe she was on the phone, so I let myself in. The large, orange feline met me in the hallway.
“Hen.” She stated flatly giving me the once over.
“Cat.” I replied raising my beak in the air. I started to walk by her.
“You shouldn’t be inside,” she meowed as I headed toward Mom’s office. “You are a filthy fowl that belongs in the barnyard.”
“Okay,” I responded, stopping to set things straight. “First of all, we don’t have a “barnyard”. We have a chicken yard, and second – I’m a scientist, soon-to-be private detective. I drive a car, run a lucrative beverage business, speak fluent Swan and play a mean piccolo. If that isn’t impressive enough, I collect stamps, teach Pullet Camp, and head our Chicken Security Board. This year I helped catch an international criminal by the name of Dumpling Longfeather, and took a flight to Paris just because I could. And yet, I still find time to projectile express a blemish-free egg every morning into a carton that sits in the refrigerator of this very house and feed the family who keeps your good-for-nothing feline form around as a dust mop.” Then I raised an eyebrow for added intensity.
“Fine,” Sugarplum relented. “Mother is occupying the room to the left. I’d advise you to wash off that dirt before announcing your presence; if you want to continue this charade of dignity, that is.”
Errrrr! What is it about cats that make me want to ball up my wings and knock ‘em in the head? I’m going to need an hour of mediation on Yoga Rock after this to reclaim my customary jovial spirit.
The cat had a point about cleanliness. I glanced at myself in the mirror. There was dirt on my feathers from digging a cooling hole under our coop earlier in the day and a couple of stray pine shavings had found their way to my underfluff. I stopped at the kitchen sink to use the sprayer and washed it all away. The cold water felt good. I gave myself a hearty shake and headed off to the room in which the pompous Sugarplum informed me I would find Mom. I pushed open the door and walked in. The space was empty except for a small work table where a craft project had been left unfinished. I hopped up to see the handiwork and inadvertently stepped into a small, white Styrofoam bowl filled with glue. When I sat down to wipe it off, I toppled over, knocking open a large bottle of silver glitter. What a mess! I couldn’t get it off. The harder I tried, the more glitter stuck to me. Between the glue and being damp from the shower in the sink, I was a chicken magnet to a million shimmering bits of prehistoric particles – which, according to the label on the bottle, can be acquired for a reasonable price at Sally’s Art Supply Emporium.
I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt, but I had a sinking suspicion the cat had set me up.
Eradicating myself from the glitter was hopeless. I had cooled off enough. It was time to go. I headed for the exit passing the dastardly feline who sat pleased and content on a stool near the coat tree.
The cat swallowed a laugh but I could see from the corner of my eye that she found my current state amusing. I held my head high and kept walking until I heard the sound of the screen door bang behind me.
My shoulders sagged as I rounded the corner of the house and passed the girls of Coop #2.
“Whoa, Happy!” called Dolly Parton from her spot under the smelly bush. “You look brilliant!”
“Oh my, very much so!” added Kellie Pickler. “Maybe you’re glowing from the heat.”
“I think she looks like a star!” Maisy quipped.
“A shooting star!” Dottie exclaimed.
Suddenly, I didn’t feel as bad as I had a minute earlier.
“You think I look… good?” I asked earnestly.
“Like diamonds in butter!”
Well, what do you know! I spent the rest of the afternoon under the shade of a hemlock tree weaving grass placemats and sipping on lavender iced tea. I had to stay out of the sun because my reflection was so intense the other chickens needed to wear sunglasses. In a strange way, I felt like a movie star.
Here’s to your “bright” idea, Sugarplum!