Monday, March 7, 2011

I Was Late for Church Because...

I was herding a chicken. That's why I was late for church yesterday. I'm thinking this could be a new Olympic sport--hen herding. No, I wasn't doing this just for the sheer fun of it or just to practice. Let's start at the beginning. Hubby went out yesterday morning early to feed the cows. I headed out to go check for new babies. It pretty much works this way every day of the week, so why should Sunday be any exception? I'm making the rounds, drumming my fingers to the beat of Randy Travis singing "Diggin' Up Bones", tagging a few calves, and generally enjoying life on a beautiful Sunday morning. Then I pull back in by the cattle cafeteria line to check on the babies lying around there. Nothing going on here, so I start heading for the house--a half mile away. That, my friends, is an important distance. The cows are nonchalantly munching hay while the babies are basking in the sun. That's when I spied her--the hen from the hood. I have two hens that definitely think they are "hood hens"--they somewhat have an attitude, like to give you a certain look, cock their heads and peck the cats on top of their heads. There she was--bright ruddish-colored feathers with the black-highlighted tail--busily scratching in the hay. I had to do a double-take. I couldn't believe my eyes. So I get out to see if I can catch said hen. She's just swift enough to get past my outstretched arm and she ducks under the pickup. We go round and round to no avail. Finally I create a wire hook and try that--again to no avail. So I get back in the pickup and slowly pull away, heading toward the house. This hen begins to follow, just like cows follow the feeding truck. I again cannot believe my eyes. There she is, coming on a trot behind the pickup. This works for a ways, then she decides she needs to go back and scratch in the hay. Through all of this, the cows and babies are undaunted. I manage to jump out of the pickup and turn her around. She darts back under the pickup. So I begin driving the pickup down the trail a ways, then get out and herd her back toward the pickup. As long as the pickup is a refuge, she keeps coming. Well, this is gonna take a while. Meanwhile, hubby has fed a cull cow in the corral and notices me in the pasture so he heads my way thinking I'm having problems with the pickup. He is not a hen herder by trade, so he headed back to the house, I'm sure laughing all the way. Well, me and the hood hen keep making our way in little baby steps back toward the house. I decide to try catching her again with the wire hook. I am nearly successful, but the wire isn't strong enough. It's enough to startle her, though, and she takes off on a dead run toward the house. I'm jogging behind her, wire hook in hand, herding her much like kids drive hogs at the county fair. (I always knew that experience would come in handy). We round the corner at the hen house and there is hubby, looking for a cage to bring back out in the pasture and help me. "Bet you can't bring a chicken in from the pasture!" I proudly exclaim to him. He shoots me that certain look and replies, "Bet I don't need to, either. But I will get you a champion chicken herding patch for your jacket."

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like some good training for your big basketball game on Friday!