Tonight was one of those nights that seemed to pass in an instant.  I had a mandolin lesson and Greg and Tom came with because they like to gaze lovingly at the Breedlove guitars in the acoustic room.  We have a pretend band that is called “Electric Bacon”.  I’m already looking for a dress for the Grammys.

Anyway, when things finally slowed down, it was chicken bedtime.  BEST time of the day.  The Peep Squad had been in the coop all afternoon because of severe storms moving through the area.  I had let them out this morning either in hopeless optimism or blatant denial that we were going to get more rain.  At noon, everything still looked okay weather wise so I didn’t rush home to put them away.  Also…I had on black pants.  Everyone knows you don’t go to the chicken coop with anything BLACK on.  Actually, I use black pants as an excuse for everything.

“Oh, open that door for you?  I can’t…I’m wearing black pants.”

“Do something productive today?  Sorry.  Black pants.”

I think it goes back to my mother telling me “DON’T GET ANYTHING ON THOSE BLACK PANTS”.  I’m sure that’s it.

square eggs and i

So, around two o’clock, I guess it started to rain.  I don’t have any idea really, because my office has no windows which also accounts for the alarming shade of white of my skin.  Greg was at home, so he ended up rounding up the damp crew and securing them back in the coop. They don’t like coming inside.  Have I mentioned that?  Of course, the Buff Orpington Rooster Brothers were their usual insolent, rotten selves and as Greg would round them up and put them in the coop, everyone else would run back out.  So he’d get them back in, and the BORBs would escape.  I’m glad I was trapped in my office working on my paleness.

Since they’d been cooped up all day, I thought I’d take them a treat tonight.  I’d taken them an offering of fodder earlier in the evening, and they were completely unimpressed.  Weren’t interested at all.  Finicky buggers.

Back to the treat.  I threw some stale Cheerios in a plastic container and added some raw oatmeal.  MMMMM…oatey deliciousness.  I headed out to the coop and as usual, Tom and Greg tagged along.  Tom took my usual chair and bale of straw and Greg and I went through the gate to the chicken area.

Everybody was standing with their beak pressed against the run door, peeping hopefully.  I don’t know how many chicken-eating-sasquatch stories I’m going to have to tell them before they understand that they can’t go outside in the DARK.

Greg and I each took a handful of Cheerios and oatmeal and crushed it up a bit and held out our hands.

cow crane

Holy Moly.  Remember that scene in Jurassic Park when they lower the cow using that big cow crane thing into the raptor pen?  Well, this was A LOT like that.  They LOVED it.  Vinny, the naughty barred rock, was eating oatmeal without breathing.  I swear.  The chicken never took a BREATH.  He was eating from Greg’s outstretched hand and when all the snack was gone, he looked up and he had a little oatmeal beard hanging from his beak.

At that point, we lost it.  We should sell tickets to this stuff…either that or we are quite simple-minded and easily amused…which is more likely.

What followed was a lot of beak wiping (which we always enjoy) and then more Cheerioatmeal eating (yes…I typed that as one word, no…it does NOT exist in the WordPress spellchecker) and then there was MORE beak wiping and some sincerely disappointed chicken looks when we finally decided we’d had enough of them pecking our hands with their pointy little beaks.  We packed up the rest of the snacks because everyone’s crop was getting a little too full.  The chicks seemed to take that cue to begin looking for places to settle down and we locked the coop and headed back to the house.

Pure joy.  Absolute and utter happiness. That’s what I feel when I’m with those silly feathered creatures.  I know how insane it must sound.  I’ve always loved animals, but this experience has taken that to a new height.  I love to see them excited about treats and happily preening and snuggling up together at night to rest.

I love their innocent curiosity.  I love the way they look at me with eyes that appear to be full of questions.  I wonder what they think…I’m sure it’s nothing like the way that we think.  It’s obvious though, they DO think.  Those tiny, goofy little heads, have something going on inside.

I was talking to a friend today who said “Their brains must be so tiny.  Like a pea”.

She’s right.  And those oatmeal beaked, pea brains bring me so much joy.