What a great time I had at the annual convention for chicken augurs, which is run by our professional organization, Continuation for Learning and Understanding Chicken Kinetics (CLUCK)! I sat in on some wonderful lectures, observed fantastic demonstrations, and traipsed about the vendor floor. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was that all pelleted feed on display wasn’t ethically-sourced. I walked past those vendors quicker than an one-legged man in an ass-kickin’ competition.
Perhaps the most surprising moment of the convention was the musical act on night 3. Stepping onto the stage was a chicken-centric, Smashing Pumpkins cover band named “Pullet with Butterfly Wings.” The set was magnetic, sweaty, and just depressing enough to leave us all filled with an angsty contentment.
Although attending is the highlight of my year and I love every moment of it, the time had come to return to the compound and my beloved hens. As they say, I’m back in the saddle again.
I’d like to thank my fellow compounder, Slan, for taking care of the hens while I was off. I think he assumed it would be an easy job looking after the birds. But, I know the true labor of love that it is: their constant need for attention, the cleaning up of the coop, the daily synching of chakras, everything. So, as a token of my profound thanks, I picked up this calendar from a convention vendor for his bedroom.
As soon as I entered the compound, I hastened to the coop. I peered in, not wanting to give my presence away. Rather, I only wanted to drink up the chickenness of the moment. There was joy in their eyes, exultation in their movements, glee in their voices. My heart soared. They were safe, fed, and happy. As I continued watching, they seemed to act out tabletopping someone. They’d recreate the scene over and over and then laugh the laugh of a chicken. I didn’t get it.
I sought out Slan and described what I saw. It was then I noticed that he had scuff marks on his arms and legs and his left eye had a slight charcoal-esque coloring about it. When I questioned him if he saw the hens tabletopping anyone, he muttered: “I don’t know anything about those damn birds!” and sped away.
Odd. Whatever. I didn’t care. I was with my hens and they me. We walked around like 4 hens in a pod. A glorious time together. We missed each other and our souls needed this moment.
As we stood lakeside, gazing upon the unrivaled Lady Bird waterway, Wolfie looked at me as if to say, “Tell me about beaches from around the country.”
I began my words with the caveat that, for sheer natural beauty, Austin can’t be topped. My hens nodded in approbation. From there, I went to the west coast and talked about Huntington Beach (Surf City, USA).
I described the geography of the sea floor and how that makes the waves there most exceptional for surfing. The hens gobbled all this information up.
From there, we went 9 miles up the coast to Seal Beach.
This is a place for families to gather and enjoy the sea and sand. The underwater geography differs from Huntington and doesn’t have the waves for surfing. The hens politely nodded along. But, when I told them how popular boogie boarding here was, and, as a result, the place is for “dick draggers,” the chickens rolled around the coop, laughing.
San Julius then looked at me as if to ask, “Aren’t these all near Los Angeles?” I said, “Yes, lovely, they are all in the LA area.” She then ran back to her nest which is lined with the fabric of our lives (remember, dear reader, that nothing produces richer, more deeply colored egg yolks than a laying hen relaxing in her coop upon a cotton nest), and pulled out El FC’s schedule, noting that we face the Galaxy next.
At that very moment, my 3 hens lined up in a circle. They ate some of the ethically-sourced, pelleted feed I had previously scattered and took two large steps to the right. Ceasing their actions, they gazed the gaze of a chicken at me. Yes, my lovelies. I understand.