My followers may have noted that my blogging frequency has diminished over the past week or so. I don’t expect to return to my usual two or three times a week until probably May. April is crunch time for the end of the semester. Even though I’m not enrolled in classes there are presentations, committee meetings, seminars, and all manner of time sucking, mind numbingly boring academic activities. That’s just my schedule.
The kid’s school seems to think it a great idea to pack all sorts of field trips and performances into the end of the year as well. Mr. Smarty-pants had two field trips and a performance for this week. He missed the first one due to his gravity testing experiment. Yes, gravity still works, and combined with the forward momentum of a bicycle, results in an impressive collection of road rash and scrapes. Today’s field trip necessitated me getting up before 5a.m. to drop him off at the meeting site for the chartered buses, I’m not one to voluntarily get up before the sun. Even the animals noticed and thought it odd. I often have to drag Zeke out of Mr. Smarty-pants’ bed, but this morning he hopped up and followed me into the kitchen.
Zeke: “What’s wrong, Mama?Why are you up? Are you hungry? I’m hungry.”
Marble yawned and looked at me like I was nuts, but exited her crate when asked. I shooed her outside, but Zeke wanted no part of being outdoors before the sun was up. In fact, he seems to have developed a chronic case of “LET ME IN!!!”
I proceeded with the rest of my normal routine, which involves letting Millie out, putting whatever is in the wash into the dryer, and then letting the chickens out to forage for bugs and whatnot. This morning the chickens decided to assist me with that. Someone must have unlatched the door on the coop, as it was open and all the chickens were roaming in the driveway. Figuring out how that happened required too many neurons for my still sleeping brain. I shrugged, and let Millie back in and proceeded to wake Mr. Smarty-pants. It only took four tries. Despite his claims to the contrary, we share the same lack of morning pep.
I fixed his lunch, tossed on some clothes, and dropped him off without incident. I was about his age when I went to the Huntsville space center and I thought it was pretty cool. I’m sure he’ll have fun.
Once home, I pulled into the drive and was greeted by all four chickens. Instead of moving away from the oncoming vehicle, they approached it in a game you might have heard of: Chicken. They won, since I stopped the car short of my normal parking space and did not squash them.
Marble, concerned over all of this unusual early morning activity, as it was still dark when I returned home, decided she needed to check on me. Our gate no longer latches properly, so I keep a heavy brick in front of it to keep it closed. It’s a sizable brick, so it never occurred to me that Marble might move it, or that she would know to do so. Then again, this is the same dog who figured out how the chicken coop latch works. I heard the brick scrape along the pave stones and out she bounded, frightening the hens, and leaping around me. Shocked by her Houdini act, I failed to duck when a chicken flew straight into my face. Good thing the hen is more feathers than weight.
Marble was torn between ensuring I wasn’t suffering from some strange malady or being kidnapped by alien invaders, and chasing the tempting feathered noms. On the plus side, she was smart enough to obey when I told her to “Leave it.” and called her to me. On the down side, I now knew she’d been humoring me. She only stayed in the back yard because it suited her to do so. It explained the handful of mysterious gate opening incidents. I lodged a long metal pole against the gate [more because I don’t want Zeke wandering than out of worry she’ll go anywhere], but I expect that she’ll figure out how to remove that obstacle. Heck, odds are she probably already knows. I get the feeling she has a higher IQ than some people I’ve known and I bet she’d do far better than Lassie. All Lassie ever seemed to do was go run for help.
Lassie runs home.
Marble knocks a handy wooden plank in and he climbs out.
Lassie runs home.
Marble takes them out, as long as they taste better than chicken.