January 1, 2003
Lost a hen this morning. Went for a walk around 10 full of new year optimism and good cheer. Talked about what we want for our kids and the business. All the things we have to be thankful for, etc. After we got back, I told Kathy we should see if my latest fortification of the chicken house worked. As we walked out there, Peaches ran ahead and we soon heard a squawk and then I saw feathers flying. Not a good sign. I started running and as I got closer I saw that not only had the javelinas broken into my haphazard, Okie fortification, they had pulled one of the back walls right off the vertical struts (where’s my hammer and rip saw?). Peaches jumped in thru the open wall and got one of the hens in her mouth. As Kathy and I ran up, I commanded Peaches to “sit!” which she did promptly. But when I tried to extract the chicken from her mouth, she gave me a look that clearly said, “Hey, this ain’t part of the deal. I’m sittin’, but this is my chicken.” After several slaps on the head, Peaches reluctantly gave up her new “toy” and I held the hen up high and checked her out. Thankfully, she seemed mostly scared and appeared to be okay. So I walked around to the door while Kathy quickly tried to put the side wall back up against the gaping hole. Unfortunately, when I let the hen back into the wire pen, Peaches came running around the perimeter and scared both hens and the injured one freaked out again and flew out the narrow opening where Kathy was holding the wall up. This time Peaches ran her down and the ending was not as happy. As I hammered the nails back into the leaning wreck of a wall, the last surviving hen turned nervously on the long wooden perch and pondered her chances.
If that doesn’t sum up 2002, I don’t know what does.
“If you woke up breathing, congratulations! You have another chance!”
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