Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"Hey Mom..... why did the chicken cross the road?"

It was a typical Saturday afternoon filled with barn yard chores and squabbling kiddlings. The Teenager and I were on stall duty .... cleaning up after the horse. I am still not sure how we missed it but tragically we did. As I maneuvered the wheel barrow toward the gate I noticed something out of place. Something was floating in the goat's drinking bucket next to the water trough. "What the heck is THAT?" I said to myself out loud. The Teenager heard me and ventured over to see what I had discovered. "Oh NO!" she gasped. It was Penny, one of our favourite laying hens. She appeared to have drowned in the water bucket. She probably tried to get a drink and fell in.... then couldn't get back out. The struggle must have worn her out and she drowned. This was going to be a tragic blow to the other girls in the hen house as Penny was second in command (yup, there really is a  "pecking order" in the world of chickens.) 
I grabbed the lifeless bird from the water and layed her on the ground. "Well that's a shame, she was a good chicken" I said to the Teen. "I am NOT eating that chicken!" she shrieked. "Of course not," I replied. "We'll bury her after we're done here." Just then I noticed some movement in the chicken's eye lids. Her eyes seemed to be moving around under her closed eyelids. I picked up the bird and checked for signs of life. None. She was stiff and cold and soaked right through. I held her legs in one hand and grasped her body in the other and swung her through the air, head down, to extract the water from her lungs. She opened an eye .... then closed it again. "Grab me a towel!" I shouted to the Teen as I made my way toward the house. We wrapped Penny in a towel and attempted to dry her off and get her warm. She was still lifeless and cold when we put her on a heating pad on the shelf in the diningroom.

"Grandma Windsor," who lives with us, is on home oxygen. She graciously lent us an oxygen tank and tubing to aid in our resuscitation attempt.  After a few minutes Penny gasped. The first real sign of life since we pulled her out of the water bucket. We were hopeful but those hopes were soon dashed as we realized she was doing the "death breathe" that we had seen so many times before in our wildlife rehabilitation days.... It was only a matter of time before her body realized she was already dead and then the gasps would stop. Every 45 seconds or so when would open her beak and gasp and be still again :(  We decided to put her in a box so the kids wouldn't have to watch .... we knew it would only be a short time until her body would convulse a bit just prior to the end and we didn't want to kiddlings to have to witness such a thing ... at least not so close to the dinner table.
"Hey, why don't we try to blow dry her? She's on the heating pad but she's still so cold and stiff" my husband ventured.  "Babe, she's almost gone.... I don't think it will help her." I replied. "Well it sure won't hurt then." He said as he sent  the Teenager off to find the blowdryer. Some of the kiddlings had come into the dining room to observe our effort. "We should pray for Penny" one of the little ones offered. "Sure" I said as we all laid hands on the chilly chicken. "Lord, please help our chicken to live, please bless her and heal her Lord because we love her, in Jesus Name, Amen" prayed a kiddling.
So we propped her up in an upright position and adjusted her oxygen tubing then blow dried the feathered fowl before settling her into a box (to conceal the inevitable end) on top of the heating pad.
"Please, please, please don't tell any local farmers about this...... we would be the laughing stock of the farming community if people knew we did all this for 'a chicken' (heating pad, oxygen, blow dryer, etc) " requested my husband.
As sick as it sounds (now that I see it in type) we all sat down to dinner only a foot or two away from the perishing poultry. As we ate dinner (OH MY LORD - WE ATE CHICKEN THAT NIGHT!) there was a commotion coming from within the box. Some flopping and bumping around .... and then silence. "Well, that's the end then I think" I broke the silence "We'll bury her after supper" I said to no one in particular.
We all lingered at the dinner table after the meal was finished just killing time, trying to delay the ominous task of burying our highly regarded hen. When I opened the box I was astonished to see Penny staring back at me. Her eyes were opened and her breathing was even and calm. She certainly looked alert and 'normal' for a chicken. "Wow, I am not sure what's going on with this bird,  but let's put her in the garage in a crate on the heating pad  for the night and see how she looks in the morning" I offered cautiously.
After I set up the prized pullet in her overnight accommodations in the garage, I noticed 'Henny' looking into the water trough and wandering around the yard searching for something. Henny is the 'queen' of the hen house... she is #1. Penny is 2nd in command and is Henny's best friend. Henny was concerned and looking for her feathered friend. I went outside and scooped up the big white chicken and carried her in doors to check on her companion. Both birds stared at eachother and Henny made a few chicken noises. Satisfied that Henny knew her fowl-friend was in good hands I set her outside the door and sent her on her way.
Come morning time I was anxious to check on our death-defying chicken. Sure enough Penny was awake and alert and looking forward to getting out of the confines of the crate she was in. We were all thrilled that she had made a complete recovery over night! I carried her out back to the hen house and let her out on the grass. The other hens were happy to see her. Penny walked right over to her water dish and drank, and drank, and drank..... she stood there for a long time just drinking..... so odd when you consider she drowned in a water bucket the day before. But that's how things are around our place..... ODD AND UNUSUAL :)

Kiddling: "Hey Mom..... why did the chicken cross the road?"
Mom: "I don't know... but I'm sure you're gonna tell me...."
Kiddling: " 'Cause she wanted a drink of water!"

Here are a few funnies from our house to yours:

* Grandma Windsor took a phone message for me while I was out. When I came back in she relayed the message to me. "Pamela called from the Children's Treatment Centre, Nicholas has an appointment for a URINE TEST, please call her back to confirm." she said. "What?" I said aloud and shook my head. "Oh you mean a HEARING TEST! He is due for his HEARING test.... maybe you should join us for that Grandma?"

* The Teenager often cuts it close in the morning, barely making it to the end of the driveway to catch her bus on time. One morning it was ten to seven and she was casually brushing her hair. She looked out the window and yelled "My bus!" in a panic. She rushed to the garage to gather her things. "I don't have a lunch!" she calls in exasperation. I grabbed two sandwiches off the counter and popped them into the tupperware sandwich keepers and shoved them at her. The Teenager picked up her bags, looked for her shoes.... "I can't find my shoes!" she cried out excitedly "Where are they?" she said, panic rising in her voice. As the garage door rolls upward to open she ducks under it and dashes down the driveway yelling "My Bus! My Bus!" running and hollering over her shoulder "I don't have a coat!" I reached for her jacket, prepared to run down the driveway after her (in my PJ's) then suddenly she stopped....... her shoulders slumped and her head hung down. She turns to look my way and in a small voice says "it was just a transport truck."

* I had planted my seeds in tins in the garage in anticipation of making a beautiful garden in the yard this year. The kiddlings enjoyed checking on the trays each day to see if any progress had been made. One morning Little Susan excitedly ran back into the house and yelled "Carrots! Carrots! We have carrots!" When I followed her out to the garage I realized what had caused all the excitement. I had taken a bunch of carrots out of the fridge in the garage and set them on the table, forgetting to bring them in the house. Poor Little Susan though those big old carrots had grown right out of the seed trays! Hahaha.

* One morning as I brushed my teeth my bridge broke and fell out of my mouth - along with my false tooth. "Yay Mommy!" cheered Susan. "You're gonna get some money!" added Latoya.

* "Mommy, I want to be a dinosaur. I don't want to be a person anymore." stated Little Susan.

* "Mom, when we were out with Dad I got scared by a KILLER DEER on the train tracks." Nicholas said, his voice rising with alarm.
"What? There are no killer deers." I questioningly shot back.
"Ya," said Daniel "it's a bird."
 "Oh, a KILL DEER" I wisely informed them.
"Ya, it flapped it's wings and made it's noise at me." concluded Nicholas.

* The Baby stood in her bedroom door way, naked and grinning. "I peed." she proudly proclaimed. "What?!?" I shouted "Where?" I hollered as I raced to the bedroom to search out the offending puddle. I looked high and low, under pillows and around stuffies, but couldn't find the mess ... then I happened across it.... in the green tupperware bowl that usually houses her FP Little People. At least she peed "in" something rather than just on the floor or bed :)

Subscriber's Stories
Introducing a new area of the tank.... Subscribers Stories! Do you have a funny or cute story to share? Want to have it included in the "Subscribers Stories" section of The Fish Bowl? Just email me your story and I'll include it in a future edition of the Fish Bowl. Please include your name and email address with all submissions.

* I was watching Abby yesterday and put Dora on for her while she snacked on some chips. At the end of the episode Dora always asks "What was your favourite part of our adventure?" to which she promptly replied "Eatin chips!"...AHAHAHA!!
(Thank you Kristen M of Chatham for that submission)

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