The Saga Continues…An orange blaze shot from the Japanese maple, a sure sign that Autumn had finally planted itself in our garden, and the young settlers who had pioneered their way from the dining room to the coop welcomed the season with new adventures that would leave us unsettled.
Privy to all this drama was my father who, upon barely having returned from his transatlantic vacation, we summoned for emergency support. My appointment for a second opinion regarding my hand had lead to my leaving the orthopedist’s office with a big blue cast that slid my hand off the gear shift of my giant 4Runner. I needed a manny, and fast! Dad was happy to drive the children everywhere, and even to help me tend to our flock. He cursed at the insanity of this household and at the fact that his daughter was doing the work of ten people, or more, but soon became eager to take over the coop operation entirely, leaving me to wonder whether I might bare him some resemblance in character. Apart from my indescribable frustration with having to rely on others to get anything done, all was running smoothly.
An early morning text message flashed on my cell phone as I made my way to our trusty Vibiemme. “Count the chickens”, it read. I dashed down and around and into the garden, grazed past the sage and down to the coop, only to discover a trail of feathers that clearly marked our two missing chickens. It was decided that the offenders were likely raccoons as well as our two youngest, for they had left the coop unlocked the night before, and the verdict that those responsible would pay out of their savings, should they desire to replace their chickens.
The following morning, the children each picked a beautiful Cuckoo Marans hen from the feed store. They named one Jo-Jo (after the cream-filled chocolate Trader Joe’s cookies) and the other Marge (because her hoarse voice resembled that of Marge Simpson). They were nearly fully grown and a pair, so we introduced them to the coop. It seemed everything was finally in order.