About six weeks ago, my son (David) urged me with excitement to come outside and see his new pet that he had found. “Where did you find it?” I asked. “Out front,” was his reply. “Out front where?” “Just out front, come on!” So I followed him, having no idea what to expect and half-way wondering what in the world he was up to.
A frog? A turtle? Maybe a snake? No, he wouldn’t have the excitement he displayed over it, whatever it was. Amphibians and reptiles are a dime a dozen in our neck of the woods and we have captured our share over the past eighteen years here. Wouldn’t be a dog or cat either, we’re all a bit bummed when domestic pets get dumped; we can’t possibly save them all. So what did he find? I wondered, and out front? My mind couldn’t imagine.
David disappeared around the cherry hedge and reemerged holding a beautiful red chicken. “Oh my gosh!” I exclaimed. And I was surprised.
“It had to have come from somewhere,” I said, “I bet you a neighbor is missing it.” Of course, I had to be the buzz-kill.
Someone had to play the practical one though. I called the neighbors to see if they were missing a chicken and yes, they were. They had been having trouble keeping it confined in their yard with the other chickens; for some reason it kept getting out and they said we could have it if we wanted it.
So the boys built her a cozy little cottage and a couple of times a day she goes up on our front porch and lays an egg. Her name is “Squockers” and she gives us much more than eggs. She gives us laughs as she chases our ninety-pound pit bull away from where she’s foraging. She gives us esteem when she follows us around and won’t leave our side and she gives us love as a pet member of our family. A chicken – who would have thunk!