Sunday, March 8, 2009


In this picture: Mrs. Puff, Mrs. Puff, Stu

Mitch has promised to build me a chicken coop this spring. I can't wait! A few years ago on the fourth of July we were sitting in the living room, having some fourth of July cake and we heard some clucking. We thought it was on the radio but it wasn't. A chicken wandered into our yard and was chased into some long grass by the dog. We didn't know what it was so I started walking in to see and Mitch yelled out, "Wait! Wait! You don't know what's in there! I'll go get a paddle from the garage!" As I was wondering why a canoe paddle would be prudent in this situation, I walked up, saw it was a chicken and picked it up and brought it in the house. Mitch thought it was a bear. Yeah, a clucking, miniature bear, scary.

The poor thing was in shock and she just sat quietly for a long time with her eyes shut. The kids named her Mrs. Puff. A few days after that another chicken found it's way to our house. This one was white and turned out to be a rooster and Mitch named him Stuart. About a week later another chicken joined the flock. She looked just like Mrs. Puff, so she was also named Mrs. Puff. We didn't know where they came from, but they hung out at our house so we just let them. We fed them, and Mitch built a nesting box where the two Mrs. Puffs would lay one egg every day.

They would roost in a birch tree in the back yard at night and at the crack of dawn Stu would fly down, walk up to the screen door and crow his head off. It was obnoxious, but I kind of miss it.

They hung around all summer and we got very attached to them. Well, not so much to the rooster. He was mean. He had bone spurs on his legs and when he'd attack the other chickens, or the dog, or the kids, he would drive his spurs in and peck furiously. He was very strong. By contrast, the Mrs. Puffs were pretty sweet, and incredibly nosy.

Mrs. Puff outside on the bench, looking in the window. Like I said, nosy.

At the end of September a lady came to my house to tell me that they were her chickens and she wanted them back. She lived down the road in the meth-lab trailer, or to be fair I should say "alleged" meth-lab trailer. I told her that they'd been hanging around all summer and I wasn't going to try to catch them to give them to her. She got all snotty and told me she was going to come back later with her boyfriend. I didn't care. One of the advantages of being married to Mitch is that he is my muscle. He can "cash the checks" my big mouth writes. Or so I thought. That was the day he decided to work late and not tell me so I had to have a ridiculous argument with these meth-head chicken neglecters in my driveway in front of my kids. Embarrassing. They threatened to call the police and report the chickens stolen, or abducted, or whatever it is one does to a chicken. Rustled is the word Mitch uses. I told them to go ahead and call the police. I don't think they ever did, or maybe they did and the police laughed at them and said, "Here's 75 cents, go get yourselves some new chickens, assholes." but the boyfriend came back the next day with a huge net. If he thought he was going to be able to catch a chicken that had spent the previous three months perfecting it's evasion skills with Kira, he was nuts. He never caught any and looked like a fool trying.

A stupid neighbor dog got off his leash and killed the Mrs. Puffs the following spring. I made Mitch kill Stu after he knocked over a two year old and stomped her with his giant T-Rex feet. The rooster also hated Sam and it was kind of sad that my boy had to scope out the yard and then make a run for it if he wanted to play on the swing set. Kira was his muscle if the rooster started stalking him. Kira would take care of business. It's too bad he was so mean, because he was beautiful.

So I am going to try to raise chickens again this year. I am going to have a real coop, and I think I'll get six chickens and no roosters. I hope it works out.


  1. I love it. Raising chickens. Maybe sellin' eggs. Just like on Kitt Kittredge, An American Girl.

  2. So, the rooster...did you eat him, or leave him on the doorstep of your meth neighbors as a little message about what happens when people f&*k with you?
    I would have opted for the latter, but of course no sandwiches come with that.

  3. We thought about eating the rooster, but he was such a vile and disgusting animal that we couldn't bring ourselves to do it. Chickens don't exactly live hygenic lives. And they stink.

  4. Ok. You wouldn't eat the chickens because they're unhygienic and stinky but you will eat what comes out of their butts.

  5. Chicken-butt fruit. Mmmmmm delicious

  6. ooh! I want some too! not a jerk rooster though.


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