In August of that first summer with Sam and the girls, I took on a temporary, high-stress job- one of those jobs that leaves you emotionally and physically exhausted and makes you wonder. "WHAT was I thinking?!" I would come home drained, then head out to the back yard to spend some time with the chickens. This is what I wrote back then:
You would be amazed at just how perceptive and helpful roosterhens (Sam in particular) can be. He sits on my lap and I tell him my troubles and concerns. Sometimes he just raises his hackles like he's ready to take on anybody who might be causing me distess. Other times he just cackles in a most agitated manner. And sometimes, he just sits there, without a sound, a hackle, or a cackle, knowing that the situation is just beyond words... Mr. G., on the other hand, has been known to fall asleep and start snoring as I'm relating the day's events. Now who would YOU rather talk to if you were me?
I drag home after an extra long day and get home at dusk. Hurriedly, I change clothes to go take care of Sam and the girls, and Mr. G offhandedly says, " Your girls are all huddled at the run door, waiting for you. Oh- and you'll find a major upheaval in the back yard when you go out there." Natural pessimist that I am, and thinking that Sam has been crowing louder, longer and earlier than usual this week, and remembering that Mr. G., in a fit of pique, had cruelly brought home fried chicken last week, I went out the back door filled with fear and trepidation, expecting the worst.
Sam and the girls were fine- but the arbor that supported the clematis and the mutant hyacinth bean that grew and grew (I think it must have cross bred with some kudzu)but never bloomed , had decided to give up the ghost. There it lay, toppled over on its side, one leg all mangled and broken, blocking the way to the chicken run. The clematis was stretched nearly to the breaking point and the hyacinth bean lay dejectedly all over the place. Sam and the girls ran over to it, clucking and carrying on, since it blocked their path to the choicest bugs and worms and such. I reckon the gully-washer of a thunder storm we had last night was responsible. I am really, really, seriously considering turning in my gardening license....