Wednesday, April 01, 2009
This is “Crazy Chicken.” We have been calling this black and brown hen “Crazy Chicken” for at least five years now. We don’t know what breed she is – perhaps one of the chicken people reading my blog do know and can let us all know….. She came amongst one of the “assorted rare breed variety packs” I ordered from Murray MacMurray Hatchery several years ago.
Crazy Chicken – with two Capital C’s as Julia says – has been living in our mudroom for several years now. She sleeps in the darkest corner every night - behind the door where it is dry and safe. I don’t particularly care much for her – nor does The Farmer nor Julia. But we do look out for her everyday. We look to see where she is when we are leaving our house in the morning run to school. We look to see if she is in the mudroom at night in her little spot, safe and sound after a day outside working the yard.
All day long, every day and in every season, Crazy Chicken wanders around the yard – snow, sleet, rain, ice, fog, or sun. It seems it is her sole duty -- to patrol the perimeters of the yard and farm, making sure everything is in its place and that no bugs are left uneaten.
Every once in a while, I decide I’m sick of Crazy Chicken Poop in the mudroom. I catch her at night and put her in the henhouse with the rest of the hens. There she paces the inside perimeter of the coop, always looking for a way out. She doesn't stop, not for a minute. Up one side, turn the corner, down the next side, turn the corner.... all day long, and the next day too. She is never content to be a chicken amongst the rest of the flock. I watch her, The Farmer watches her, Julia watches her. We talk about Crazy Chicken, how she is doing assimilating with the rest of the chickens. We decide she just looks too unhappy in there amongst her own kind. We let her out and she finds her way back to “her mudroom.” This has happened too many times to count.
I don’t particularly like that Crazy Chicken is living in my mudroom making it a chicken coop vs. a Martha Stewart type mudroom where our boots should be neatly placed, washed of any mud before entering, tidily lined up next to each other making their own little patterns of heels next to heels below the coats that are neatly hung on the hooks above. Believe me, our mudroom has never been like that, except for maybe when it was first added on to our kitchen about ten years ago. Since then, our mudroom has gone down a slippery slope --- chicken and pig grain, recycling containers, dog pillows that smell like wet farm dogs, mud, and Crazy Chicken. You get the picture.
“Crazy Chicken” has become a dependable character amongst our farmstead. There she is - looking out for everyone else while avoiding passing cars, rambunctious Border Collies, hungry bottle lambs, wild animals, and Fedex and UPS delivery vehicles. The cats know her and don’t love her. Before they rush out the door, they look around, trying to see if she is there. You see -- Crazy Chicken loves to chase all our cats. She torments them. They dive out the screen door as fast as they can, trying to avoid her furious attack. It’s all a bit of a game amongst the species – seeing who can torment the other.
Once in a while, Crazy Chicken leaves us an egg. It’s not often. Mostly she keeps an eye on things – patrolling our lives. Keeping things in place. Making this old farmhouse a real and living farm full of quirky creatures – animal and human.