To Get To The Other Side

Poultry Perplexity
Poultry Perplexity ~ Turkey Tracks Image by Dennis Ross

Blogless for a few days, power out from Xmas 1030 a.m. til yesterday at 2 p.m, good to be “wired” again…at least for now.

A lesser man would say I told you so. But I, being the long-suffering, quietly passive, stoic spouse that I am will never, ever publicly do such a thing. I could, mind you, because I did sure enough petition strongly but to no avail last summer that, if we MUST have chickens (therein, another choice about which I will remain silent of my strongly voiced and over-ridden opinion) then we should put them adjacent to the garden shed on this side of the road.

“Think about it” I offered with impeccable logic: “when the ice storms come and we can barely even get to the mailbox and back, having to cross the frozen creek to feed a few eggless hens. How smart is that!”

“But” she says having already made the final decision before the discussion began “I don’t want chickens over here on this side, pooping on the foot bridge and up on the porch. We’ll put it next to the barn and they’ll stay put and we’ll not have any problems getting over there.”

Yes, were I the kind to say I TOLD YOU SO, I’d point out that it was not a full week from the hens first days with us that they showed absolutely NO fear of crossing the footbridge over to the house side of Goose Creek and have lately indeed been observed scratching in the mulch around the foundation plantings under the window by my desk not three feet from where I sit. Watch where you step on the front porch, folks.

I’d also whine publicly about the fact that it will be ME who risks my orthopedic health to tend the yard birds this Christmas morning in the ice storm.

But I’ll not make a peep–or a cluck, as it were–no sir, I’ll suffer silently, and get up and do what needs to be done. But if I end up in traction, then I’ll probably say I TOLD YOU SO!

UPDATE: Yesterday (Sunday) afternoon 500 square feet of snow slid suddenly off the barn roof and down into the ill-sited chicken pen. Fortunately, “the girls” were under the (now partially crushed) spicebush at the corner of the barn when it happened. Even so, Rhoda the red one sustained a broken toe. Coulda been a lot worse outcome. I tried to be sympathetic yesterday as she heaved huge slabs of snow away from the Chicken Palace gate. I helped. And kept my mouth shut.

Published by fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

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5 Comments

  1. “I helped. And kept my mouth shut.”
    You’re as tough as rail steel, ol’ man! A role model and a gentleman’s mentor.

  2. Fred, I forgot to mention I saw Ann at the country store a day or two before Christmas. She’s a wonderful lady, isn’t she?

    Isn’t she?

    Fred?
    :>)

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