The Great Chicken Rescue

Oh no, the chickens. Month or so ago the chicken gate was left open, local fox kittens were well fed. One of six survived, a mongrel sort of red chook, Isa Brown and some other thing. Managed to get five Isa Browns to keep survivor chicken company. So far so good, until last night that is. It was a cold and windy night, black as anthracite and speaking of anthracite I think thermal coal and when … whoops,
off into straw man territory. We had a fire going, first of the year. Oh no the chickens, my lock up the chickens smartphone alarm didn’t register. Out into the black, phone torch guiding me over loops of garden hose left on the path, through a side gate to the fowl sanctuary. It’s gate was closed, hah someone else has locked them up and miss-vixen out. Shone the torch in, no fucking chickens, gate’s not latched, winds don’t do bolts. Blackness always makes thing seem worse, felt bad for the poor chickens, followed our normal routine and our humans have locked us out. Walked around all the trees checking, chickens roost up high at night, right? No, no, no, no; practiced my clucks, Isas are as tame as, and generally reply to my chickenese. Glad no one could ‘see’ me walking around in the dark, book, book, book. What was that, “cluck”, aha. Looked up, looked out, nothing, under the tractor, no. A ghostly apparition sat on a cattle trough, a fowl if I’m not mistaken. Aha, under adjoining rose bushes a rustle. One by one lifted them up to the top of chicken wire chook yard fence, peeled their talons off the top wire, and dumped them into the yard beside fowl house’s little chicken door. So far so good, huddling in a bunch on the ground in the middle of the fowl yard the captives tried to come to terms with the dark night. The rude awakening and molestation by one of their mad humans was disorienting. Hmm, around to the gate, shone torchlight onto the chook door, no, one by one I unceremoniously shoved them through. Closed the gate, opened the chook house door and shone the torch onto the high roost, no joy, no chooks. Picked up the befuddled fowls one by one and put them onto the top of the row of nesting boxes, climbing the wee ladder was not on for these pooped poults. There they sat, images of strewn feathers and recollections of desolation welled up. They have to go up high. Bounced torchlight off the roof, one sleepy chicken had a nervous go at climbing the ladder, success. Cached the rest of my egg machines up high. Had to have a big shiraz after that bit of bullshitting around, benefits of being a chicken wrangler and saving the day.

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