August 31, 2014 – It’s the last day of August and the humidity feels heavy like a wet, woolen blanket. At times it’s hard to breathe, especially when we’re scratching or pecking. As head of the Chicken Citizen’s Patrol and overseer of the safety manual, I’ve officially called for a ban on unnecessary movement until this weather pattern breaks.
To keep cool, most of us have dug a divot in the dirt in which to plop. In order to pass the time we’ve been sipping from buckets of ice water and mint and playing parlor games that require little effort. Wilma suggested hide and seek, but that was only so she could take over my bunker which was expertly dug and therefore chilled and comfortable. I wasn’t falling for it.
“Why don’t we play, what lies beyond your tail feathers,” I joked, noticing that every one of Wilma’s plumes was facing in a different direction.
“Ah, cut the baloney,” she griped. “Have you looked in a mirror lately? My feathers may be erratic, but yours are wilted and you stink.”
“I STINK?” I repeated aghast. I bent my head and tried to smell myself but all I kept getting was a whiff of rosemary. Most likely it was from the shortcut I took through the herb garden when I went to check on the pullets.
“You smell like air freshener,” she accused. “Just like the green paper tree that used to hang from the rear view mirror in the truck. I hated that thing. I tossed it out the window the first day you hung it up.”
“So that’s what happened to it! It was pine scented and the man from the dealership gave it to me. How can you hate pine? You live in the shadow of a zillion pine trees. I don’t hear you complaining about the smell when you’re walking through the woods.”
“We travel with no less than 12 hens in the front seat! I almost had that paper pine tree shoved up my nostrils one day when someone tried to climb over my lap to get a better view,” Wilma remarked. “It’s not an occurrence I care to recall.”
“…Because the smell was so strong?” Sawyer asked.
“No… because I had looked away for a second and when I turned back I couldn’t see a dang think except the egg chute of whomever it was stepping over me.”
“Who was it?” we asked at the same time.
“How in blazes should I know,” Wilma snarled. “I didn’t ask for identification.”
That got us laughing. We couldn’t stop. Tears ran down our faces and both Sawyer and Wilma took to snorting. It finally ended when Mom stopped by to check on us and give us a delicious watermelon treat. Wilma ate first and then made a bee-line for my dirt bunker. She looked so relieved that I didn’t have the heart to kick her out. I dug a new one next to her and the three of us went back to telling stories. It wasn’t at all a bad way to wait out a perfectly miserable, sticky August day.