Thursday, February 18, 2016


I really wanted to post this on Valentine's Day (as the title is the color of valentines) but life got in the way and well, it just didn't happen...but Happy (Late) Valentine's Day everyone!
I've dedicated this post to a chicken I've started calling RED. I call her RED not in a positive way but from a place of anger. No I'm not bullying her out of jealousy...I'm already a unicorn and have my own red hair. I'm calling her RED because this little chick-a-dee rubs me the wrong way.
RED. There are a plethora of names out there to call red heads these days. Some nicer than others. Some have been outdated...for example I don't really hear "carrot top" used anymore probably because it's been replaced by "ginger". (I don't really get the use of the word "ginger"'s like whoever made it up was really grasping for straws when they thought of it. Not only does it remind me of ginger root, but also that beautiful chestnut mare in Black Beauty and sometimes if you catch me on a good day, when I hear it I just want to channel my inner Ginger Spice and bust out a dance move or two while singing "Zig-a-zig-AHHHH!") Ok, sorry I got a little sidetracked.
Of all these names I think I hate RED the most. Like it's so original people have to call you that to get your attention. Because they are such original people and can't think of anything better to say. When I hear the name RED being used when someone is talking about me or to me I literally feel the wind sucked from my sails.  My eyeballs can't reach any further in the back of my head. It's as dull as powder.
There has only ever been one person in recorded history that I haven't minded them calling me RED. Old Richard Chandler. He was kind enough to put a "Miss" out in front and let me throw whole bean plants at him out in the bean field. (Sorry Grandma!) Anyone else will be ignored for their lack of creativity. The only reaction you might get out of me is something as equally lackluster like, "Hey Blondie!"
So it's with these attached connotations that I call this bird RED.

I don't think RED has spent a night in the coop for probably months. Or if she has, then she is a permanent escapee.

It has sadly become a common sight around the Shawhan Farm to see this girl out and about, even on the other side of the fence and inches from the road, peeking and scratching. A NASA space ship can probably see her hoard of eggs miles above us because trust me we haven't found a stash to raid daily. (If she's not laying inside the coop then she's laying outside the coop.)
Aside from her top secret egg cash, RED was also part of an elite hole digging operation in the gardens and under the trees here at the Shawhan Farm. This past fall Carl and I raked level all the empty flower beds. We spent an entire morning blistering our hands with those rakes and my esophagus burned from pregnancy-related reflux, but we had the grounds around this place looking comparable to one of the royal palaces. That afternoon what did I look to see? RED and her counterparts selfishly indulging themselves in dust bath and scratching in the newly raked dirt. It. Was. Everywhere. Bush and tree roots now lay exposed thanks to those birds. I literally saw RED that day. I called Dan and threatened to shot her.
RED is living on borrowed time as I see it; not just from her daring escapades to the road but also with my tolerance. I made peace with myself long ago that I felt such traitorous feelings towards a sister in the ginger and now all that is left is pure annoyance.
Dan says the day he cleans the steer lot out will be the day he finally discovers how she is escaping the confines of the steer lot, but this girl is good. Like, really good.
So when you visit, please ignore the craters surrounding our house and please watch your step, as we don't need to sprained ankles. It's all the work of RED who has successfully made this chicken lady throw her arms up in defeat.  

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