But, moving on to the chicken in the window well. Yes, one lives there. Those of you who have begun reading my blog recently or who don't know much about my years as Mike's wife might be thinking something like, "Whhaa?? Cr-A-zy!" The rest of you are thinking, "Yawn. Big surprise."
My sister and her husband brought this particular chicken to a family white elephant gift exchange. Their neighbors were going to cook the bird up because it was being picked on by all the other hens. Hen pecked. Huh. I just remembered that term. Well, now I know why it's a term. We didn't choose the gift, mind you. It was just the natural assumption that Mike would take the chicken home in the end. I mean, look how scared every one else was of it.
Anyway, it wasn't an ideal situation. Our dog was VERY interested in our chicken. And having him immediately kill it when it had just been rescued from the stew pot would make for quite the bitter irony.
Luckily, Mike's aunt lent us her little breeder (I think that's what it's called). It's basically a large wire cage with a little hen house at one end so the hen can hang out in her little hen house and then strut about her tiny fenced in section of the world totally dog free. Only our hen wasn't planning on strutting anywhere at any time for anybody. I thought surely she was dead all winter long. She never left her tiny house. Mike tried to put her food at the end of the breeder so she'd have to go out that far, but ended up moving it closer for fear he was starving her. I don't know. Maybe she preferred a bunch of other hens pecking at her all the live long day to one clumsy large dog breathing his slobbery breath down her neck every time she stepped out for a bit of fresh air (even though his breath was now separated by some nice safe fencing). She wouldn't lay an egg for nothin' and I just kept thinking it wouldn't be the end of the world if she'd give up the old ghost (well, technically it would be the end of the world for her, I guess).
Anywho. I don't know how long she was down the window well before I knew. Probably awhile. I'm sure Mike knew as he was the one caring for the creature. Maybe he'd even told me how she got there. I do recall getting Penny off of the trampoline one day and her struggling to not go in the house because she wanted to look at the chicken and she kept pointing to the window well, but I just thought, "Silly, there's no chicken down there." Actually, I don't know that I even thought that. I don't think I even thought anything. Certainly not, "What? Is the chicken living in the window well now?" I think it just skimmed right off me much like someone asking for ice-cream right before dinner might -- not even a thought worthy of my pausing to consider.
Eventually, I must have asked or been told that the chicken was there. I don't know why she hasn't been moved back to the breeder. But before you go getting all up in arms about animal rights and how our chicken should go for a daily walk and only be chained up so many hours of the day and have time in the house and snacks for good behavior, let me tell you this: Our chicken loves her window well. In fact, she's THRIVING in the window well. A few happy nights in the window well and she started laying eggs EVERY day. Sometimes I hear her down there pecking the glass loudly with her beak. She probably sees her reflection and thinks it's some other hen, and she's probably thrilled to death to be hen pecking a chicken back for a change. Think how her confidence must be growing as that sissy chicken in the glass can't even manage to get one peck in. Besides, it's a pretty large window well.
So, now Mike goes down to the basement and, opening the window, reaches out to take care of old henny every day. (Side note: I recently realized that "everyday" all as one word does not mean every single day. It's like "boring old common" -- so, I'm glad I remembered to do it right in the last sentence, otherwise I would have been saying something like, "That chicken's feathers aren't one bit exciting. They're just so everyday. She's just such an everyday chicken").
But, this all came up because Mike is out of town, and I'm in charge of animal care and feeding whilst he's away, and it just felt a little weird going down to the basement to feed the chicken in the window well tonight. But, that's one of the fun things about my life. It's not so everyday as one's life might be if they didn't have things like chickens in their window wells.