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Thanksgiving Chicken Fiasco 2012

November 23, 2012

Our 2012 Thanksgiving was pretty normal, I suppose.  Like most folks, we had a little turkey dinner.  Watched some football.  Played a board game.  Moved out of our RV into someone else’s home for a few days.  Chased renegade chickens all over SE Portland.  You know, standard.

Well, perhaps the chicken fiasco could use some explanation.

It all started when our new and delightful friends, John and Hanna, invited us over for dinner.  They share our sense of adventuring and had themselves done a six month stint running around the country in a tricked out Land Rover.  So we reciprocated and had THEM over for dinner at OUR place.  Since we live in a car, nobody ever comes over to our place.  But we thought it would be fun, and it was excellent.  Then they asked us if we would be interested in house sitting for them while they traveled over Thanksgiving break, keeping an eye on their cats, home, and – you guessed it – chickens.  Simple, right?

So we eagerly accepted and on Thanksgiving day awoke with a variety of things we don’t always have access to:  Oven. Full-sized shower.  Fireplace.  And that glorious yard.  It wasn’t long before we had a nice fire going, and Carissa had created a Thanksgiving spread second to none!

With full bellies and needing a little exercise, we decided it would be a good time to let the chickens out of the coop to stretch their legs a bit, so we donned our jackets and boots, and off we went, like lambs to slaughter, skipping merrily along the path to our untimely demise.

You see, these weren’t what you might call “comfortable” chickens.  Only a few days previous there had been an incident where one of the chickens had disappeared.  Raccoon?  Fox?  Space Alien?  Not sure.  All we know is that prior to our arrival one chicken had vanished and the other chicken had witnessed it.  She was thusly traumatized, and – like all creatures with no lips – wasn’t talking.  So John and Hanna procured a veritable flock of new birds – three to be precise – and these new guys had gotten the impression that this was a good place for alien abductions and were a bit nervous about the whole thing.  Right about the time they were getting pretty edgy was when my 6 and 8 year old appeared in pink boots and fluffy jackets looking a bit spacey, and that was all them chickens needed to run like the devil.  Well that was some pretty good fun until time to put them back in.  Eventually, 3 were snug in the coop, with only one left to corral, and….say, did you know chickens can fly?

Well I didn’t.  And next thing we know that bird had gotten to the tippy top of a medium sized tree, after which she “flew” (if you’ve ever seen a chicken fly you know it’s not proper flying that happens) into the neighbors yard.  That was when I met the first neighbor (nice lady) because that fowl disappeared into her shrubbery and was NO WHERE to be seen.  Next came the Sherlocking, where we investigated all possibilities, followed by the frantic searching from yard to yard, walking around the block repeatedly, and starting to become aware of the possibility that this chicken just might be gone for good.  This sickening stage of our adventure lasted for about an hour.  And just about the time we had completely given up all hope, and were walking back to the house dejected and demoralized, we noticed ol’ Myrtle herself, casually plucking about in the neighbor’s yard like nothing had ever happened.

Well, I had never been so happy to see a chicken and immediately started shooing the gal back towards her yard.  And juuuuust about the time she was moving toward the gate, a neighbor with two dogs rounded the corner and I guess she thought them dogs was the space aliens again, because she did her little flying routine and ended up smack on top of the house on the other side.

That was when I met the second neighbors.

Well they thought it was a regular hoot so no harm was done there, and with a little more shooing and broom jabs we managed to get her off that roof.  But now that she had discovered her penchant for aerial maneuvering, she ended up on top of the carport of her own house.  And this time she wasn’t moving.  So up I went.  As I edged cautiously towards her I got close enough to see the look in her eye.  It was a mix of “I don’t have another flight in me” and “If you want me, you’re gonna have to take me”.  So I used the well-known fly swatting tactic of waiting until she was looking the other way, and POUNCED!

And that’s the story of how I ended up holding this chicken on top of my friend’s house on Thanksgiving Day 2012.

Thanksgiving Chicken Chase 2012

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