It was actually I that was stupid. Bringing Effie with me to the chickens to check for eggs is a bit of a struggle. She pulls back on her halter; she clearly does not wish to approach the creatures. No doubt she apprehends her infinite superiority in the lifeform hierarchy.
But Effie sat as if glued to the door, desperate for me to take her outside as I was about to do the quick chicken run. Oh heck, why not?–I can just carry her up and back, put any eggs I get in the house, and take her back out for her outing. We’ve done it before, but it is difficult for me, managing her as she pulls on her lead while I endeavor to keep the chickens (Did I mention they are stupid?) from trampling the eggs before I can collect them and ensconce them safely into the plastic egg carrier for safe transport back to the house.
A lot of things work a lot of times and then suddenly demonstrate what “not working” means. This time I happened to catch the demo .
The chickens had laid three eggs in the roost and one in their yard, the earth floor of their chicken trailer. The yard egg was the biggest egg they have yet laid. I have no way to access the yard area beneath the enclosure; it requires more strength than I have.
Effie was already yanking on her lead, trying to distance herself from the chickens. The chickens were squawking and stomping about in their enclosed yard, eating the apple core pieces I stupidly stuck through their wire roof before noticing the yard egg. I didn’t want to lose the egg to the stupid stomping chickens, even if my stupidity with the apple core contributed to the situation.
Then I noticed a hole in the ground at the end of the enclosure. If I could get a stick through the wire and move it every couple of small openings in the wire, and scoot the egg to the hole with the stick, I could retrieve the egg.
It was working. But now the chickens, cannibals that they are, also wanted the egg. They followed the egg as I rolled it with the stick. I withdrew the stick to beat on their wire enclosure so they would retreat from the yard into the roosting area, and replaced it to move the egg along. I retrieved the egg and gave the enclosure another quick tap for bad measure.
The chickens panicked. But, much worse, Effie panicked. She slipped her halter!
I can confirm that one American woman, afflicted with a rather testy stupidity episode, was panicked, flummoxed, repentant, and under God’s protection.
Effie did not run far; she sat a short distance off and looked at me, and let me approach her. I put her halter back on and picked her up and nuzzled her. I was just so relieved that she still trusted me.
I have a new rule: Effie’s outings are hers alone, not to be shared with other missions. And the chickens are to be accepted as what they are–stupid–and chicken errands are not to be combined with any other undertakings.
Life could be simpler–but it isn’t.