Posted in Family, Reading Reviews, writing

A Swimming Chicken, a Filing Ferret, & a Knight Seeking Work

chickenidiots2
Yup, these would be OUR chickens. (cartoon courtesy of savagechickens.com)

Our chickens won’t be winning any intellectual awards.  Ku’okoa (aptly named with the Hawai’ian word for “freedom“) is brighter than the rest—she spends a fair bit of time outside the chicken-yard, but she always returns when she’s done adventuring. The other girls, though… Maybe I’m too much “Mother Hen” with them, but I just don’t trust their capacity to figure out where they’re meant to be.

Their general lack of imagination is evident in how INfrequently they get out, not to mention their behavior when they do. Last time one of the Stupid Chickens blundered out of the chicken-yard, she tried to return by running through the fence. Repeatedly. Like some kind of wind-up chicken-brained battering ram.

At left: Ku'okoa, the Least-Stupid of our chickens...
At left: Ku’okoa, the Least-Stupid of our chickens…

They remind me of nothing so much as a sleepy toddler who falls out of bed, too groggy to navigate back to the starting point. So when one of the Dumb Clucks “fell out” of the chicken-yard yesterday, I felt compelled once again to round her up and tuck her back in.

She sped away from me, dashing along a narrow stretch between our fence and the pond behind the house. I ambled along after her, confident that I would scoop her up where the fence and water converged to cut short her runway.

This is where she proved me wrong in my assumption about lack of imagination. Instead of the dithering disorientation I expected, she took to the air!

Clearly she can achieve enough lift-off to hop the short fence around the chicken-house, but I really didn’t think she had enough flight-power to make it across the water… And this time I was right. She managed half the distance, ran out of juice, and splash-crashed right into the drink. It was unkind of me, but I couldn’t stop laughing while this poor soaked, bedraggled, panicking chicken thrashed her way to shore. Ducks make it look so easy!

I looked up “swimming chickens” on the internet when I got back inside (the waterlogged and baffled bird returned safely to her enclosure) and found quite a few videos of serenely swimming chickens. So they CAN swim—but apparently someone needs to explain that to OUR chickens. Maybe I’ll show them the video…

In other animal antics… I’ve been in a fever of anti-packrat cleaning-up this week. Cleaning junk out of drawers, cleaning old documents off the computer, uploading photos into our online album (I learned that lesson when a laptop died and took a load of family photos with it!), filing the stacks of paper that have been accumulating on the kitchen counter where I drop the mail…

ferret in the files
we need a new filing system…

And I’ve had “help!” Our ferret Niele (aptly named with the Hawai’ian word for “nosy“) was particularly useful when she climbed into my accordion folder. Evidently we need a new filing system: “Kids’ school.” “Medical.” “Utilities.” “Insurance.” “Ferret.”

Filed in the category of “new knowledge”… Our son Christian has me reading the “Ranger’s Apprentice” series of books—great read, by the way!—and he brought home #4 and #5 from his school library for me this weekend. What an “aha!” moment I had when I got to this passage, about a knight riding through a snowstorm:

“His surcoat was white and his shield was marked with a blue fist, the symbol of a free lance–a knight looking for employment wherever he could find it.”

freelance writing... with more "help"
freelance writing… with more “help”

This freelance writer had never wondered about the etymology of the word that describes what I do! I exclaimed aloud at my discovery, and earned a look from my son—the kind of look that pre-teens have perfected. Half affection and half disdain, the kind of look that says “Duh” without a word spoken. “Seriously, Mom? You didn’t realize that? It’s kinda obvious.”

Well don’t I just feel like a Stupid Chicken!  :)

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Author:

I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

29 thoughts on “A Swimming Chicken, a Filing Ferret, & a Knight Seeking Work

  1. Speaking of etymology, after reading your post I have finally figured out what Paul McCartney meant in his song “Uncle Albert / Admiral Halsey. You know, the part that goes, “Hens across the water (water). Hens across the sky.” Wait, maybe it was “Hands across the water…” Yeah, I think it was Hands. Oops, never mind.

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    1. We’ve talked about it… Though having been recently visited by a skunk, a raccoon, and a fox, we thought maybe we’d better leave their “escape plan” intact…

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  2. I have never ‘associated’ with chickens. Our family were always dog and cat people. But when I took my kids to a petting zoo, I saw that a particular chicken was following us. Taking the cue from other people in picking up the chickens, I picked up this one. I couldn’t believe how soft the feathers were. And when I started to stroke its head, the chicken just closed its eyes, as though in a trance. It was really a neat experience. I didn’t want to let it go. :) Very sweet animal. Er, bird.

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    1. They have turned out to be surprisingly endearing! The chickens started out as Christian’s project, but (like his ferret) they’ve captured our affection as well. The ferret’s a little brighter, though… ;)

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  3. Again, our dual lives: Jimmy recently finished Ranger’s Apprentice #10 after having barreled through the first five in a weekend. Our sons share the same taste. You and your critters (human and otherwise ;) )enjoy the holidays!

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  4. Never a dull moment where animals or children are concerned. :-)
    Enjoy your holiday Kana.
    Love to you and yours.

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  5. Nice story on about the chicken, Kana. And I would like to say Happy New Year to you, I hope it is not too late to say so, May 2013 bring you happiness and success..

    Many blessings and much love to you, :-)

    Subhan Zein

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