So. Last week was an eventful one: I spent it in the hospital.
Granted, I was not sick. Our daughter was. Asthma. Scared us all half to death. She’s fine now; in fact, she’s playing tennis Monday and looking forward to snow tubing and cross-country skiing on her upcoming birthday weekend.
But yes, hospitals. She learned the important life skills of opening a milk carton and opening a bag of chips. How they expect patients to get well while eating such crap is beyond me, but then again, perhaps that’s the point and icky food helps the bottom line. So she sampled her first powdered potatoes and gravy, breaded chicken, iceberg lettuce, white bread and Froot Loops. And her parents ate take-out for all meals. Yes, a greenhouse salad was a welcome event on Saturday night.
I would spend all day and night at the hospital, and return home in the morning to milk the goat, feed the critters, answer work emails, and shower. Fun week!
Thursday morning: While letting the goats out for their morning passagiatta to the mailbox and back, I heard the tweeting of the feed-stealing sparrows in the chicken coop and went to chase them out. Instead, five tiny madly peeping bantam chicks greeted me in the straw, with a mightily defensive mother flying at my head. What an idiot, that hen: who sits eggs in January? It was maybe 15 degrees outside and there was no way the chicks could live in the cold, so I collected them in my pockets to put them in a makeshift brooder. I turned around to see that the goats had followed me and were now themselves eating the chickens’ feed! Dang caprines!
I flew at them, pocket chicks shrieking, snow flying, lunging with the dog to get them out of the henyard. Feathers flew as all the yard birds took cover, making a huge ruckus, crowing, cackling, and the damnable guineas pealing. The goats ambled out, licking layer crumbles off their lips, while the dog and I fumed out behind them. It was an amusing sight, surely.
And yes: I simply thought the mother hen had escaped about three weeks ago. She’d flown out of the henyard and I assumed she’d, you know, made a break and gotten lost and/or eaten. In hindsight of course I had wondered why I hadn’t any bantam eggs in a while, but I also figured it’s the dead of winter so goodness maybe the girls were giving themselves a break.