Dear Farm Journal,
The chicken saga continues, and today, I was the one looking foolish. I am, by far, the worst chicken wrangler on the farm. Rufus’s daughter, Aurora, is the real chicken whisperer. When we informed her of the chicken debacle, she instinctively knew how to handle it. “You have to wait until they are sleepy,” she said, and casually went out into the evening twilight and caught three chickens in the time it would have taken us to find one. She only relented her stealth recapture mission because the other two hens took cover in a thick patch of nettles (the devious birds). Well, if that isn’t embarrassing enough, I have to admit that my baseline problem with catching chickens is that…well, I’m sort of scared of them. Okay, yes, I am more chicken than the actual chickens. The hens don’t like to be grabbed and I don’t like to grab them, and I feel like we all came to an agreement about this. I put forth less than semi valiant efforts to catch them, and without a doubt the chickens have me pinned for a sucker. As I walked the farmstead with one of our photographer friends, I was explaining our “chicken problem” and low and behold, when we walked into greenhouse four, there she was, a red hen, helping herself to a healthy portion of green and purple basil. I imagine she couldn’t believe her good fortune to be pecking around such yummy plants. I started “chasing” her, to no avail. After a few minutes of running circles around the greenhouse, I realized this act was futile. I would just get Aurora. She would know what to do. However, before I could call the chicken whisperer, Balio ran into the greenhouse. Oh shit, the last thing I need is a dog and chicken chase ripping through my plants. I yell my well worn warning at Balio, “GET OUT OF THE GARDEN!!!”. He knows this phrase well, and to my great surprise, his paws slam on the brakes and he stops just short of the basil bed. The hen, however, needed no more convincing. She found an unlikely exit, sucking in her chicken breast, tucking in her wings, and dipping out under the baseboard. Oh, really?! Obviously the chicken takes Balio way more seriously than me. I’m done. Oh yeah, and it was our week 4 pack out of the summer CSA. Somehow we made it halfway through the summer share already.