One of our girls has developed a case of wanderlust.
If there is the teeniest hole in the fence, she'll find it. She's caused me to wonder if Houdini himself hasn't come back as a hen named Hazel.
We've retrieved her from the yards of each of our flanking neighbors. Thankfully, neither one gardens or has pets, and both find it funny to look out a see a little white chicken feasting on their bugs.
Every time she gets out we scan the yard for gaps or holes, and fix the ones we find, no matter how small and incondusive to breakout they seem. And yes, her wings are clipped.
Still she roams.
The worst of it came the awful day when we could not find her anywhere. We checked every nook and cranny in our yard. We peered through knotholes in the neighbors fences. We looked up and down the street.
Oh the crying.
Oh the SOBBING and calling, "Haaaaaaazel! Come Baaaaaaaaack Hazel!
I was seriously considering making up some "Lost Chicken" posters to hang around the neighborhood when I heard a familiar scritch scritch scritch BEHIND our fence. Behind our 8 foot, solid concrete fence!
Now, our yard used to back up to a lovely field where deer roamed and blackberries grew. In the last few years though, It's been paved over and dotted with office buildings.
I don't care for those office buildings one wit, but never have I despised them more than when I realized what I was going to have to do.
We piled in the car, drove around to the office park and sure enough, there was our girl, happily standing in a manicured bed, kicking all the mulch out and digging around for tasty bugs.
And the chase was on.
Up and down we ran. The boys were calling "Here chick chick chick!!!!" (as though she was going to just say, "Okie dokie, let's go on home now!"
Hazel was bawking her version of "You can't make me!"
And we were all, no doubt, putting on quite the show for the people chained to their desks, slaving away behind the one way office windows.
All I could think was that they were probably gathered around the windows laughing their heads off at the crazy woman and her half-dressed children chasing the chicken.
On the drive home, my boys cooed and petted Hazel. I, on the other hand, gave her the standard mom talk, "Listen young lady. You will NOT take off on your own ever again! Do you have any idea who much you worried us? You are SO grounded!"
She's out back now, kicking at the ground, rolling her eyes and shooting me dirty looks.
I'm sure that if she could, she'd say, "You just don't trust me. You never let me go ANYWHERE!"
There has to be one rebel teenager in every bunch doesn't there? One that wants to test the limits.
I had no idea that this law of nature applied to chickens as well.
Happy Weekend Y'all!