Sunday, September 27, 2009
Nora goes walkabout again
I let the dogs out as usual and staggered toward the coffee maker like something out of The Mummy’s Curse. The morning’s fog was pierced by a too-familiar squawking and flapping. Imagining a tail-wagging dog holding a mouthful of writhing chicken, I dashed outside to find Miró on the deck, jumping happily, and Alanis below. Both came running at my call because they hadn’t had breakfast yet. Where was the source of the altercation?
I stuffed the dogs indoors and ran to the chicken pen in the lower yard. Edna was dancing around on top of the netting that covered the pen and Zora was nowhere to be seen.
A string holding the netting in place had broken, allowing tiny Zora and Edna to pop straight up in the air when Miró had run down and shocked them out of their morning stupor. I guessed that Zora had flown up to the deck, Miró in hot pursuit, and taken off from there.
It was easy to lure Edna back down with scratch feed scattered on the ground but neither rattling food in the cup nor the hens’ “I found food” chuckles lured Zora from her perch in the evergreens or the neighbor’s yard. Each time I let dogs out that day, I first checked for the return of the prodigal chicken. Finally at dusk, which is chicken bedtime, I heard the whining sound the banties make and a rattling in the evergreens. Out hopped Nora, running back and forth on the wrong side of the pen before figuring out how to find the door. Amazingly resilient, that bird.