A lovely day. While on the phone with my mother this morning, I see a bright yellow goldfinch harvesting seeds from our volunteer sunflowers. I made supper last night, so somebody else is taking care of it today — that means the entire afternoon is mine to do with as I please. (Except for three loads of laundry, with the rhythm of changing loads and sorting down to a science.)
I’ve let the chickens, who have become prone to wandering a bit too far (and thus are no longer allowed to free-range 24/7), out of their run, so they can wander the garden and graze. They meander towards me, hoping for a snack (humans are the providers of snacks, in their world). I chat with them, they cluck back, moving to the mint patch.
As they scratch near the compost, I go inside to change laundry loads. When I return outside, they are nowhere to be seen. The plants in the garden patch aren’t shaking, so I know they aren’t tugging on the tomatoes. A quick glance at the back garden confirms they aren’t by the blackberry brambles. I hear the crunching of dead leaves, and know, then, that they have escaped again to the alley.
Armed with my trusty bamboo stick, I stomp out there to shoo them back into the yard. One of them thinks she can hide from the stick in the daylily patch. I reach down and grab her; she flaps her wings frantically, so I toss her over the fence into the yard (hmm, she’s getting to be a pretty good flutter-er). The other one squeezes through the fence (darn it! I thought they were too fat for that) but then finds herself behind a makeshift chickenwire barrier I put up to keep them away from the corner where they were sneaking out last week (hmm, they must have found another way out this time, then). This one, too, I grab from her unexpected prison and let her flutter into the yard. Then I shoo them into the run, and lock the door.
Now they are resting in the dirt, looking at me, but not complaining to be let out, as they usually do. I think they realize they did wrong (damn straight, they did), and figure I won’t listen to them, anyhow.
Me, I go back to enjoying this peaceful Sunday afternoon.