November 23, 2014 – Today was supposed to be the day that Sawyer and I set off in search of a reindeer farm. We didn’t get beyond the mailbox. Sawyer didn’t get a chance to speak with Mom beforehand, so she and I left her a note instead. I believed the note to be precise and devoid of my usual fan fair. The message simply read,
The owls are out to get us. We need to buy a flying reindeer to keep them at bay. Since one would be lonely, two would be better. If you want to safekeep your chickens and ducks, a herd of reindeer would be best. No worries about the due diligence. We’re heading out now to learn all about them. This could involve passing through the North Pole, which means we may miss Thanksgiving. Please save us an apple pie. We’ll keep our cellphones on.
Love, Sawyer and Happy
We left the note taped to Mom’s office window and returned to Coop #3 to prepare. I had just tossed my snorkel jacket and Sawyer’s pom-pom hat into the truck, when I noticed Mom standing in front of us with one hand on her hip and our note flapping in the breeze in the other.
“Alright, you two. What’s really going on?”
“It’s just as we said in the letter,” Sawyer replied respectfully. “We need to learn about reindeer.”
“That’s right,” I added. “The only information I’ve been able to find online is that the cleanest reindeer ever was named, Comet!”
“Ooh, I can pick up a reindeer with one hand,” laughed Sawyer trying to outdo me.
“Where are you going to find a one-handed reindeer,” I howled.
Mom was not impressed.
“Seriously,” I pleaded, “we need additional protection. I can’t guarantee that our sling shot, laser beam, rock catapulting defense system is enough to keep the winged predators from swooping down and making a snack of us. Remember how many hawks loomed overhead last winter? I still have nightmares!”
“Me, too!” said Sawyer hugging her body with a shiver.
“I get it,” Mom sighed, her voice softening. “But trust me, girls. Nothing is going to get you. I’ve checked and double checked our entire chicken yard. It’s predator proof. Free ranging is only going to happen when I’m outside with you and for short bouts of time. Otherwise, you have a nice big run to hang out in.”
“True…” I agreed, “but if we had a herd of flying reindeer, nothing dangerous would dare come near our property.”
“Trust me, Hap,” Mom laughed, “if I told people we had a flying reindeer farm, no one would come near me, either. I don’t dare tell anyone that my chickens can talk!”
I nearly choked on that one. Why is it so difficult for humans to grasp the idea of talking chickens?
“So we can get them?” Sawyer pressed.
Mom laughed again.
“I’ll tell you what. If you can locate a herd of flying reindeer… I’ll consider it. But they have to be flyers; a grazing pair of land caribou won’t cut it. And… you have to do your research from home. It’s too dangerous for hens to be traveling this time of year. Understood?!”
It was better than nothing. At least she didn’t say no.
“What about protection in the meantime?” I argued.
“In the meantime, there is a strict curfew in place. Everyone is to be inside well before dark. I’ll keep my eye out for any suspicious looking hoodlums with wings.”
“Oh, the ducks are harmless,” Sawyer offered.
“Good to know,” Mom chuckled.
As I write this journal entry, I’m curled up in my nest box ready to search everything I can find on my tablet about flying reindeer. So far, only Santa seems to be an expert on the subject. I wonder if he’s available to Skype?