March 30, 2015 – I took a stroll along the snow path today; the melted trail that separates the backyard coops from the bantams’ henhouse on the upper end of the side yard. There wasn’t much in the way of bug hunting. I guess they either drowned in the mud or are hibernating under the blanket of snow that refuses to leave our property. Since I hadn’t seen the girls in a couple of weeks, I decided to check in with the Silkies. They welcomed me enthusiastically, with the exception of Henrietta, that is, who looked bleary-eyed and unrested.
“Henrietta!” I exclaimed. “You look like you haven’t slept in days!”
“I haven’t,” she confessed. “I can’t relax!”
“Why not?” I prodded.
“I keep hearing strange noises at night. Mavis says that it’s nothing to worry about. She says that the coop is old and full of creeps, and I just have to ignore them. How am I supposed to do that?! I can’t sleep with creeps in the henhouse!”
“I think she meant to say that the henhouse is full of creaks.”
“I don’t care if it’s full of motorcycle-riding elephants in sparkling jumpsuits! I’m not closing my eyes unless the only inhabitants are chickens!”
I spent the next hour calming Henrietta down. The coop is new, not old. The boards are expanding and contracting as the weather changes. There are no chicken-eating ogres hiding in the darkness until unsuspecting hens fall asleep. No, you may not move into Coop #3. We have Wilma; she’s creepy enough. Just to be on the safe side, I brewed Henrietta a hot pot of chamomile tea. She teetered into the middle nest box to lay her egg, but dozed off somewhere between pecking at an errant sunflower seed on Madea’s foot and nodding hello to Pippa as she headed out the door into the run.
By then, it was almost time for lunch. The plan was to meet Sawyer and Peaches by the smelly bush to graze on spring shoots and spiders, but I was sick and tired of the mud by then. I tried to convince the girls to stand with me under Mom’s office window until she noticed us and tossed out a handful of peanuts. That’s when Sawyer reminded me that Mom was already outside. In fact, she was heading around the corner with a bowl of leftover spaghetti. I dream of spaghetti!! I flew most of the way back to the run and reached the door seconds before Mom started doling out the delectable strands of starchy goodness. I washed them down with my own cup of tea, and then set about a pleasant nap in the wash of sunlight that painted the coop floor the color of butter.