Friday, August 10, 2012

News From the Hen House

Some of you may be wondering why the hens were omitted from my favorite things in my last posting?  Well, suffice it to say, I have absolutely loved my hens.  For the past  4 years they have defined when I wake up and start my day, added colorful commentary throughout, and closed my days with a trip to the hen house in the twilight.  Until now.

This summer has been the absolute pits when it comes to predator attacks.  We were visited every month from May through the present.  The flock has been marauded by fox, raccoon, and even snake.  Slowly they have been picked off one by one, but this last hit was B A D.  We came home to a massacre.  All but 2 of our ladies were taken down, including our rooster, "Jr. Ranger."

Jr. Ranger, Oreo, Ruby, and little Blacky

It was a very shocking scene and God bless my husband, Brad, for shouldering it with me.  I've shed many a tear over my girls, and have thanked them for all they have given me.  The next morning a friend and neighbor stopped by our garage sale and we discussed a trip to the Boulder County Fair.  "You know, Melissa, you could end up making some 4Hers day."  Even though I was still in shock, the idea of visiting the Poultry exhibit and looking at the hens was intriguing.

Brad ever so thoughtfully shepherded me there while our kids held down the fort.  We perused the Poultry hall, but none of the hens were "speaking to me."  I went down an aisle and saw the breed of my favorite hen Oreo (she was a HUGE Brahma) and got weepy and turned to leave.  Just then I felt a tap, tap, tap on my shoulder.  I turned around to be greeted by the most angelic face on a young boy, Quinn.  "Excuse me Mam, are you looking to buy a chicken today?"  "Well heck," I thought, "from you probably."  He brought me over to his hens, and wouldn't you know it, they were my favorite breed, the Araucana.  I still wasn't sure, and we went to consult with his mother about whether he could sell his award winner.  She said yes, and when we returned, his prize hen was squatting.

"Quinn, what do you suppose she's doing?  Do you think she's going to lay an egg?"  Sure enough, plop, out came a beautiful, blue-green egg.

She had me at hello.

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