Take me away [insert name of favorite bubble bath or bath salts here]!
Yes, it was one of those moments, although the Napoleon XIV song of the 1960s more closely conjures my mood. When I pulled myself together, I made it up to my kitchen to prepare dinner for the kids and continue with perpetual cleaning and tidying. I clearly recall scrubbing pots and pans and taking a moment to look out the window over the sink in hopes that taking in the natural border of cypress trees, the redwoods clumped on the neighboring hills, the giant eucalyptus that brought welcome shade to our garden and the flittering blue jays might calm my nerves.
Only, as my eyes soaked up the landscape, something odd caught my attention in the meticulously pruned citrus grove of the property below. It was as though viewing a diorama of a cow grazing in a pasture among the oak trees, only the oaks had been replaced by an orchard of dwarf fruit trees and the cow by something white and feathered, yet grazing.
“Teri! Teri” I screamed and rushed downstairs. In no time, I was at the bottom of the property climbing the fence and calling to my neighbor below (I learned then that his command of English is… poor). “My chicken! You have my chicken”! He nodded but looked at me baffled. I think he was trying to ask if chickens respond to hearing their names, much like dogs, because he doubted whether he could catch her. At least, I think that was the cause of his concern, so I explained that he need only stay behind the chicken and cajole while I did the calling. I only needed his help in getting her over the fence. How she ever got past two wooden fences I could not figure.
The scene was between ridiculous and hilarious. Once Teri got close to the fence line, I saw the old man open a little door on his side. She slid into the space between the fences and flapped her way up to my fence. The secret doorway remains a mystery.
To have retrieved one of our flock seemed a significant victory. But what of Clio*? Could I leave my girl aimlessly roaming the streets at night with predators lurking?
*Clio is the chicken. She is not my teenage daughter.