There’s a chicken in my house. Staring at me from the living room.
What The Fuck.
You see, last night after my druid meeting I had to bring in the tomatoes from the cold. We have a great little greenhouse that my MIL gave us. But it’s not enough to protect my tomato transplants from possible frost warnings. This morning I have to move those same tomatoes back outside so they get enough sun and water to be useful. I’ve put too much work into these damned tomatoes to stop now. I propped the door open. That was my mistake.
Now I’m chasing a chicken through the kitchen. In fact we are doing fucking laps around the kitchen as it runs from me and circles the countertop island. I am dancing with this goddamn chicken and I really don’t think it’s funny. I’m not in a good mood. And yet, in front of me there is this ridiculous chicken walking along with her awkward chicken gait and her big stupid yellow feet and her bouncy stupid head. On lap three around the kitchen she looks back at me. She’s taunting me and I know it.
I hate myself for laughing.
I am unhappy, goddamn it! Life is kinda sucky right now. I am feeling drained and tired and I did not sleep well. I don’t really want to talk about it. Which is good, because the chicken really isn’t a great conversationalist.
Chickens in the house really ought to be dead. I think of the tarragon roasted chicken I made for dinner last night and the potato sorrel sauce that really was an excellent lemony addition. I consider that this egg layer might be tasty too, if I could ever catch her.
New tactic. I ignore her. This is reverse chicken psychology. I have a psychology degree. I can do that. I go get another flat of tomato transplants noting where I accidentally stepped on a couple in the dark last night and take it back to our tiny adorable pop-up greenhouse. There are more chickens waiting in the yard. They follow me, knowing that the taller beings tend to bring food and scraps. I kick at one as I get near the garden.
You have to understand: chickens are garden destroyers. They eat my seedlings. They scratch my seeds. They undo my patient and careful work. I realize in this moment that chickens are my nemeses. This is both hysterical and depressing. I sneak inside and pull the mesh garden gate across hoping they won’t notice that the electrical fence surrounding the garden is currently unplugged. I deposit the transplants in the warmth and protection of the greenhouse and go back inside.
The chicken looks at me from under the dining room table.
I move toward her.
It is then that I realize that I am herding her directly toward the children’s playroom and panic rises in my chest. I have visions of chicken poop in the lego bin, of havoc wreaked and messes made and it is a mad race between her and I to get to the opening. I pull the sliding doors shut before she can reach me. I am faster than a flapping chicken. It’s a super power. I feel pleased. We make eye contact and I begin the chase again. This time I move faster which upsets her little chicken psyche. She flaps and squawks and makes a run for the living room. I’m right behind her. I flap my arms and herd her toward the door. She makes a break to the right and we do the kitchen loop a couple more times. Finally I use my hands and skirts like a reverse matador and wave her toward the foyer. We pause. She’s clearly agitated. This adventure is not turning out as she had hoped. I can see her wondering, “Why do the big and small wingless beings go in here so much?”
The back door is a light I want her to move toward. I say, “Go into the light little chicken, go into the light!” If she won’t go into this light, I think, I’m going to do her in and she can go into the other greater light at the end of the tunnel. I carefully maneuver myself forward so as to not startle her into making another break for the kitchen. Finally she turns and sees her brethren and the grass glowing emerald in the sun. The grass really is greener on the other side, and she runs awkwardly for the door. I slam it behind her and sigh.
The moral of the story?
Sometimes the awkward, stupid, parts of life are what make it worth living.
For my loved ones and friends who are having a hard time right now: I love you. Hang in there. And maybe chase a chicken or two. It’s kinda theraputic.