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Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I am calling her Betty


I love a diversion. In the middle of all the fantastic busyness in my life I was gifted a hen by a neighbor who is moving to town. On Tuesday, between designing the second pass of the Northwest Washington Fair centennial book, making an allegedly wholesome meal before attending Pearl's final band concert (another event I attended on my own—this is really the only downside of not actually living with who you are married to) I picked up the chicken. We got home from the concert around 8:15. I knew the hen would be all tucked into her coop and would be easy pickings. I rode my bike next door, burlap sack in hand. After a small amount of confusion I got the hen into the bag and rode back home. The amazing thing about chickens is they will put up a huge amount of fight, squawking and flapping until they are in a bag and then they are perfectly relaxed, like nothing stressful was happening to them. It's hard to tell if they are in a state of paralytic fear or if they have just surrendered and accepted their fate.

In the morning she seemed fairly relaxed. I opened the coop door and all the hens fell out as they normally do. I tossed them some scratch and then hung arounf to see what the new hen would do. As advertised by her previous owner, she dropped down off the roost and went straight to the nesting box where she settled in. I returned to my office and adjusted the kerning on 10 headlines when I went back to check on her and she was gone, no trace of her anywhere except for a bright white egg in amongst the usual browns. I felt bad. I took her on and now she was lost. I questioned the other hens, were you nice to her? did you include her in your daily peckings? No one said anything except for the peacock who rattled his feathers. No wonder she was gone, how scary is a peacock to the uninitiated.

Despite feeling like I had failed this small slightly rough looking hen I decided to name her Betty after Betty White as she is the only white hen in the flock. This is saying a lot, I have had 2 dozen chickens over the years and only named a few of them prior to Betty. At dusk I went down to lock in the hens and I opened the coop door just to check on everyone and there she was, roosting next to the rooster like she had been there her whole life. Smart girl, I think I am going to like this chicken.

3 comments:

Chris said...

Hooray! Glad to hear she's feeling at home.

Rowan said...

She seems to like Gloria the rooster a lot. Mark thinks i should knit her a little scarf to hide the bald patch on her neck. : )

Paula O"Brien said...

So glad that little beauty made it through whatever chicken initiation the others set up for her. She's gorgeous.

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