Monday morning and I’m leaving for Portland. Sister Martha has been here for the weekend; we’ve visited some apartments in Charbonneau (wrong on many counts, cross that off the list), been to the ballet in Eugene (Romeo and Juliet, fabulous), talked, laughed, you know. But my appointment is at 11:00, so after a smoothie for breakfast, I leave first. On the fence around the orchard, I see a hawk sitting just above the chicken coop, so I madly honk to scare it away, then drive off.

I get to Portland and call Larry, as per, to check on any items he wants me to bring home, but his phone goes straight to message. Rats. Okay, I’ll text him. My phone rings, it’s Larry, but if he hears me, he doesn’t respond. Double rats. Oh well.

But then my phone rings again, and this time we’re connected, and I hear the sad news. Henrietta and Sally are dead. Rhodie has survived, but she isn’t talking. The bodies are in the nest, so apparently the hawk has crawled in through the little light-sensitive door and attacked the birds inside.

Larry asks if I want him to dispose of the bodies, or wait until I get back. Uh, no, dear, you go ahead. Brave man, who has gotten a few laughs in discussions of what we’ll do if. But needs must.

When I get back I go to visit Rhodie. She’s numb, has stayed on the nest all day, but when I call her, she manages to get down the ladder. I can’t tell if she’s hurt, nothing visible, but she’s in shock for sure. I’m not sure if she needs a companion chicken, or if we just enjoy their silly behavior, but we determine to find a replacement chicken. Does that sound heartless?

Craig’s List, we’re told at Wilco where we go to enquire after our options, and, of course, to admire the new crop of chicks. They are desperately cute, but we’re not that desperate. And sure enough, Craig’s List does have pullets for sale. Lots of them. So we won’t have to wait until the next farm Faire in April to find our new Henrietta or Sally. Just one or the other, for now.

We find someone with Novogens for sale, so, Henrietta then. We’re to meet them back at Wilco with $20 at 10:00. To prepare, Larry decides to clean the coop, put down new bedding, clean the water, etc. We’re pleased to see that Rhodie is more responsive, and I go inside to take a shower.

Full disclosure: I pretty much don’t take my phone with me wherever, so that would include the bathroom. I search the closet, take my shower, take my time, and am just reaching for the blow-dryer when I hear Larry’s ring tone, out in the dining room.

“Hi. What’s up? Just drying my hair.”

“Think you could wait on that and come out here? I’m locked in the coop.”

What!? (This is me, trying not to laugh.) See, there’s a little mechanism that should prevent this sort of thing. A cord threads through the hook and into the coop. Should the door accidentally close, the human inside can simply pull on the cord and unlatch the door. But the cord has become tangled and the device doesn’t work. He’s stuck. Rhodie doesn’t care.

Fortunately, he HAS taken his phone with him, on this day, anyway. “How many times did you call me?” I ask.

“That was the fourth.” Oh God. Don’t laugh.

Everything sorted out, we head for Wilco and Henrietta II. She’s too young to be laying yet, be another month or so. With the shock, Rhodie isn’t producing, so for now, we’re eggless. But here she is, hiding behind Rhodie in the newly-cleaned coop:


Don’t know where you are, but it’s been raining non-stop here. Muddy Creek is looking like a river for sure, the roadside ditches are full. We did the prosaic stuff: trip to the post-office, the grocery, and heard people talking about floods, power failures. Just like last week, when it was about the huge snow storm that didn’t. We’ll see, but in the meantime, it’s a really good excuse for postponing any farm work. Like planting bulbs?

Now I would like to respond to Vik’s comment on my last post. If you haven’t seen it, go there. You are all welcome, who come here, to have the pleasure of knowing that at long last, the driveway is behind you. You have survived the hawks, the cougars, the black feral cat, the starlings, the geese, the egrets and herons and sheep, the huge snakes that ply the fields, the cows, if cows there be, and yes, have arrived! Hooray!

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