Finish the coop, for crying out loud! Then we’ll go in!
This, possibly, is what half of my chickens were thinking for the past four months. I know it’s unlikely. The MO of chickens in general does not include much thinking. But I stand firm with the Queen in Alice in Wonderland, firm in believing impossible things, especially before breakfast.
“Alice laughed: “There’s no use trying,” she said; “one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. “When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
In any case, they finally – most of them, most of the time – go into the finished coop at night. Yes, it’s finished. We put the chop saw away.
Possibly now that it’s colder the birds are further incentivized – it was 39F when I went out before breakfast this morning. The half of my chickens that I refer to is my Bridge Club — the silkies, d’uccle and black copper marans. (The Sewing Circle – the old auracana, Rhode Island reds, cinnamon queens and brahmas – have gone into their own coop at night from the start, though possibly the old girl led them.)
What’s funny is watching the Bridge Club come out in the morning. As I approach the coop area, I see them through the large window on the side. Do you? That’s Miss D’uccle standing front and center.
As I get closer, I see her competing for the window space with a black copper maran in front of her and a silkie behind her.
To let them out, I lift the door that slides up and down behind the egg door by way of a string attached to an eye hook inside.
They’ve seen me. They hear me. They are waiting with bated breath.
C’mon! Hurry up!
They can hardly get out fast enough. In a matter of seconds they are out the door and on the ground. They don’t go down the ramp. They jump off the platform with wings out. They land. They keep going. Move, sister!
Hey, I was first!
We’re coming too!
All except for one.
One white silkie is not so sure. She does this every day. Hey, where’d y’all go?! It’s really quite cozy in here. Can’t we stay in a while longer?
Again today, she stayed and thought about it. She shuffled. She hemmed. She hawed.
Finally she ventured. Sort of.
The others were by now busy fanning forth, finding food, feeling fine, facing fate, flaunting feathers, fluttering fancifully, forgiving faults, fostering friendships and formulating fragments of fowl facts for future fame.
Not Whitey. She’s still fearing, fussing, fretting, frowning. Fully two minutes after the others impatiently poured out, she finally stuck her head out. The following photos show the next two more solid minutes that it took her to get to the bottom.
But it’s cold out here!
Fine. All right. If I have to.
But I’m telling you, I don’t want to. Why can’t we just stay inside?? Oh, seriously, now you want me to walk this plank!
Are you kidding? I’m going to break my neck!
Okay, I’m coming. See, I’m two steps down already. Don’t rush me!
I told you, I’m coming. Hold your horses. Save me some food. I’m coming…
This is the bottom. Almost. Now I suppose I have to keep going. Bother this daytime routine. Hmmm. Anything interesting happening over there? Yeah, don’t worry, I can see it from here just fine.
Oh, wait. Do you think I’m sexy? What about if I stretch out my neck like this?
No, no, I’m not posing. I’m not in any way enjoying the attention I’m getting from the human who keeps clicking something. I’m just thinking about my next move. I’m just showing my sisters how it’s done, how you make a grand entrance, how you show the world you’re worth waiting for.
What are you looking at?
It’s not so easy, you know, being me.
I could step onto that straw right now if I wanted to. I just don’t want to. Not yet. What’s the big deal about straw?
Why am I a chicken? How did I draw the straw to become a chicken? I should be a princess. Then they would listen to me. This chicken business is not really fun. Bugs again we get for food. Corn. Leftovers here and there. Okay, the cantaloupe yesterday was nice, I admit. More fresh fruit would be good. More lobster! Where’s the lobster??
You have yourself a nice day! I’m going to go get my breakfast now.