Saturday, April 24, 2010

No Harm, No Fowl

Hi all,

Well, definitely an eventful day! I was up at 6:30 (well, really 5:45, but I'll elaborate later...) to drop Sam and Pix off at the train station. They were off to the city to pick up one of Sam's closest friends. Yawwwn. So, an early start to the day. I got back exactly at 8 to set out cold cereal breakfast, and made it through morning cleaning. I did some planting and after lunch we set off for our excursion.

We went to Bash Bish Falls, which straddle the Massachusetts and New York border. Beau latched onto me and practically dragged me up the 3/4 mile path (all uphill, and housemom thought it was only a 1/4 mile). Maria whined the whole way about ice cream. We're not in a good space together right now. Anyhow, as Beau went along, he would cheerfully wave to people and sometimes say his short little "hi!". People find him cute, and generally respond. However, about half way up he started having some gas issues, and after waving to a couple, managed to squeeze out some good loud ones. I think they found that substantially less cute. I found it hilarious.

However, by the time we made it to the top (and me to the bottom of the falls), it was clear he and Maria both had to use the bathroom. So then I got hurried along back. We made it in time, but it took for forever for the rest of the group to meet us back at the van. Connie apparently took a trip down the stairs and banged up her knee quite impressively. She decided to soldier on and still have us go out for dinner. Which was a mistake.

The children were definitely not on restaurant behavior, and stirred up Maria and Franklin into being incredibly loud at times. Plus, I was seated right across from Maria and any time I made eye contact I got 1 million plus questions, to which she already knew the answers. To top it off, on the way home the youngest decided that speaking at top volume and then screaming would be fun. So I moved seats, housemom had to pull over and give him a talking to, and the drive was agonizing. So that was fun.

There was a Mother Fletcher concert tonight, but I called ahead to my potential ride to say I wouldn't make it. Housemom had her hands full putting the kids to bed, it was a shower night for Maria and I had to help Beau since Sam was off and housedad is gone. Again.

However, my night did end on a bright note.

The last few days we've been plagued by a rogue rooster. His story will pluck at your heart strings: he and 4 other roosters were tagged to be slaughtered. Somehow, against the odds, he managed to escape. He managed to evade capture for a good 4-5 days now, flaunting his speed whenever Ole (the co-worker who was supposed to be in charge of the slaughter operation) tried to catch him. Sounds like a disney movie, right? Well, it's not that cute when the damn bird is crowing at 5 in the morning (hello, this morning...), provoking other roosters into following. From the back yard, and then the front yard. And then, he decides to do it during rest hour as well. That was the last straw. I vehemently told housemom yesterday that I was going to get that rooster taken care of. This morning at 5:45 was the last straw. I had lost my faith completely in Ole and others and decided to take it into my own hands.

My genius idea came from Roald Dahl. In one of his books, they catch birds by soaking raisins in brandy and essentially getting the birds drunk by eating them. However, with a no-alcohol tolerance at the commune, it's slightly scarce. And would be hard to explain later. The neighbor suggested we hunt down his roost at night (which I strongly suspected to be in the garden shed...), although housemom said it wasn't likely we'd find it. So I told her my last resort was to call up someone I knew who had a gun (one of the housedads). She immediately said she'd help me tonight.

So tonight rolled around. We trekked down to the garden shed (housemom, her oldest and myself) at 9:20, carrying a flannel sheet, gloves, a cat carrier and some mesh net. Sure enough, the wily fellow was perched by a rafter near the front of the big (enough room for 3 decent-sized John Deer farmer tractors) - about 12 feet up. Housemom was afraid that if I poked it down with a stick that it would get hurt and suffer until Ole took care of it. My sympathy had run dry. After consulting with the same neighbor, we decided to wing it.

I climbed a bent and rickety ladder we found hanging on the wall (yes Bean, I put it back...), and housemom and her oldest held the sheet and net in ready. There is no wall on one side of the garage, so it wasn't a very sure thing. I poked him towards them, only to have him tenaciously cling onto the beam. Another poke sent him the opposite direction, towards the middle of the garage. Right on top of a big piece of Styrofoam. So I took the stick (well, shove handle) and gave it a great big push or two. The rooster flew/fell/fluttered to the floor near the back of the shed, where the oldest and I cornered it behind a cart. She held the net in front of it and I tossed the sheet on it. She, having far more experience with her pet chickens, swooped in and captured the bundle. Housemom got a peck on her gloved hands, but we got him safely (for us...) stashed in the cat carrier.

Oh, but it gets better.

Remember the Mother Fletcher concert?

I walk over to Ole's house, hoping to find a co-worker. Housemom made an impassioned plea on the rooster's behalf, claiming that since he was able to evade death she would be willing to honor his karma (exact words...) and release him far, far away to live out his days. Or until something else ate him. Anyhow, I trekked over to his house, but it was almost 10 and so everyone was in bed - and not a co-worker to be found. While wandering the halls (I'd never been inside this house before...), I stumbled upon a room with his name on the door. Hating to intrude (but what the heck else am I going to do with the rooster? Leave it out for some villager to free in the morning? Uh, no.), I slipped in and wrote him a note. I left the carrier in plain sight, although housemom said I should've hid it and let it wake him up at 5 tomorrow morning. I'm not sure how that would effect "Rocky" 's karma though...

At any rate, he will be in for a rather big surprise either late tonight or early tomorrow. I'll keep you posted about his fate. Don't feel too bad for him, I (literally) won't lose any sleep over it!

Hope all is well,

1 comment:

Barbara Strong said...

Ole got his just desserts!