Counting chickens: Xanga, I need help

     Take a look at the photo from a few days ago. How many chickens does Johnny have?
Sometimes it’s easier to count tails, then figure ‘One tail=one chicken’ and so forth.

Why is this important? Mainly because for the last three days I’d had only Two Chickens. I was very sad.  Horrible dreams of a wicked fox or jackal dragging off my helpless third-bird by the neck; me running after them barefoot and nekkid in the freezing mud and rain, the victim  gurgling at me: ‘How could you have allowed this to happen?’
So imagine my Happiness when I awoke just now at 5:30 AM and saw THREE CHICKENS waiting for breakfast!
‘Good morning, Blackie. Good morning, Red-neck 1, and… Good morning Red-neck 2!! I thought you wuz daid!”
Yes, that what I said. Out loud, for the neighbor’s surveillance cameras.
Because I just don’t trust my eyes anymore.
Two minutes to make a quiet cup of coffee, and I looked out the door again.
Two chickens! As if it had all been a dream. Was it?

I’ve now looked everywhere in my couple acres, under every tree, up on the roof… in my sock-drawer. She’s gone. Again. If she in fact was ever real. No whirring of wings, no frantic cries during the 2-minute interval, I would have heard.
I’m left with the terrifying possibility that my grief has made me delusional. That I only thought I spoke with three birds.
May need to hang number-tags on the dear things. Bird-brains, they’ll get used to it. They’ll just have to. I will not have chickens just appearing and disappearing in front of my eyes. That would be Insanity. I’ve read up on it. Pretty son you ferget how two spel, yu loose ur paswerd an u cain’t even aks fer xanga hellp.. .


37 thoughts on “Counting chickens: Xanga, I need help

  1. memememe321

    3 tails, 1 head and approximately 1/2 a wheel. You have a lot of personality there, I say, boy, and 2 1/2 nuthin’s a whole nuthin, that is, but believe your eyes or not. Them there be chickens, there, I say, boy. And a lot a acres to match yer personality, 3, or chickens, 2 (that be a couple, that is, a couple acres…and chickens).

  2. twoberry

    We have the same trouble with the family of sandhill cranes that lives in our neighborhood.  One day three.  The next day four.  The next day three.  It’s maddening.

  3. HappierHeathen

    Sounds a lot like a hen gone broody, desiring to keep her clutch out of your clutches. She probably has a nest tucked away in some place she feels is safe. If that’s what’s going on, and the eggs are fertile, and nothing unsavory happens, she’ll be back in a while showing off her chicks.

  4. jsolberg

    @we_deny_everything – I too suspected the ole devil moon. But after six(6) reconnoitering trips to the neighbor’s Arkansas-esque hovel, binoculars scanning every square centimeter, I’ve tentatively ruled it out. He does have a second-tier Rooster only a hen could love, plus one beige ‘ho’, looks like he brought home when he was drunk and can’t figure out how to tactfully explain ‘It’s not you, it’s me.’Bottom line: So where’s my little red hen?

  5. jsolberg

    @HappierHeathen – I do respect your experience. Waiting for Google Earth to do an updated flyover, since there are fields here she could be hiding in. If she shows her beak tomorrow morning I’ll have my camera ready, since I was seriously shaken this AM by her ghost-like resurection/ascension.

  6. jsolberg

    @twoberry – Agreed 100%, even allowing for 10% comic hyperbole in your reaction. Yes, ‘maddening’ followed so swiftly on the heels of ‘transitory euphoria’ upon seeing her apparition(?) ‘Sudden mood swings’, they can take away your driver’s license for that.

  7. HappierHeathen

    @jsolberg –  Chickens are my favorite people. Good luck with Unca Goog’s spy satellites. I’ve never met a hen dumb enough to choose a nest site with a clear view of the sky. Too many hawks up there.She’s probably within 250 yards or so of whatever she considers home, tucked up under a shrub or some other low cover in a low- to no-traffic area, probably with an entrance facing either east or south, and sitting very still and quiet. If you should find her and can’t figure a way to get her (with her clutch) home to stay, you’ll probably want to just let her be so your activity in the vicinity of the nest doesn’t attract the attention of small predators who associate two-legs with food. Your cagey cage-free hen will come around every two to four days to eat, and then sneak back to her nest as inconspicuously as she knows how.I hope it all works out just fine and she’s soon showing off her chicks in that way that only a proud momma hen can. Please do keep us posted!

  8. Lovegrove

    The burning question of the day is can two geese only eight months old (born in Apirl/May last year) fend off a fox if I stop locking ’em up at night? They look full grown to me but the female of the pair hasn’t started laying yet. If not, will full grown adult geese be able to?I only mean the wee red foxes, not the twenty footers you get in Israelite country.

  9. Roadkill_Spatula

    You should set up your blog to play The Twilight Zone theme music. Obviously there is a wormhole in the space-time continuum somewhere in your yard. Your chicken no doubt has a happy life in another dimension and only comes “home” to catch up on gossip.

  10. gnostic1

    1) Is there any chance you’ve always had two chickens, one of which often stands near a mirror? Check your receipts.2) Did a werebeaver appear when the chicken vanished and then vanish when the chicken appeared? Look for tiny, but vicious, bite marks on the beanstalks and prepare to forge a silver hockey stick. (This actually would make a clever series of kid’s books if I had more time.)3)Take comfort in having solved the less-famous “Which left first, my bird or my twenty cents riddle.”   ( First discussed in the paper “Disruption Of The Pair a’ducks-Pair a’dime Paradigm- A Paradox” by Leeson and Leeson (a pair of docs).4)I see a scenario involving Red-neck 1 and 2 daring each other to dry off in your clothes dryer after an unexpected soaking. Blackie, the fearful one,  is hesitant but the other two jump in. Gears creak, static electricity sparks are generated, feathers stand up (Fact check-do chickens have erector pilae muscles?), and R-n 2 lands, quaking and smoking a cigarette, in a bin of mismatched socks somewhere in Iran. Slave girl finds her; Sultan wants to fry her: Wizard helps out: Yadda-yadda-yadda. Back home wearing ruby coxcomb cover. (Don’t have time to fill in the blanks. Got to run down hall to OR. I would check spelling of paradigm if I had more tigm.)

  11. murisopsis

    I’m in favor of telemetry – they make little ones that can be implanted under the skin (injected really) and allow you to track their whereabouts. Seems better than name tags. I’d check the neighbor with the surveillance camera. Is he under the weather? Did he have fried chicken or chicken soup for dinner?

  12. jsolberg

    @murisopsis – you hint that my bird may have moved to his table? As a kind of transitory centerpiece? Grr. I’ll put him *six feet* under the weather, I will./ Good point on telemetry. So they show up when I X-ray my neighbor’s body.

  13. jsolberg

    @gnostic1 – Wow, four highly entertaining improbable scenariae. I love the slave-girl already.She’ll help me catch the fox, in her skimpy outfit. We’ll let chickens piss on his cage and taunt teh predator: “Have you more-or-less learned your lesson, moron?”

  14. HappierHeathen

    @jsolberg –  It’s been my experience that their hidey-holes are easier to find if you drop onto your belly and look around at hen’s eye level. I suppose it helps if you have a hunter’s eye to go along with it. They sit perfectly still once they know you’re there so you’ve got to catch the blinking of the low morning sun off a chicken’s eye.What could be easier than that? 😀

  15. dirtbubble

    Something about counting chickens before they hatch totally does not apply here. Let’s blame the Chinese for that pesky Avian Flew infection. And let’s just pretend that is one hilarious pun.

  16. HappierHeathen

    @jsolberg –  Didja get the wayward chook back home again? Or is she being left alone to express her chicken nature (which may or may not involve becoming some random predator’s entree)? Inquiring minds want to know!

  17. jsolberg

    @Lovegrove – Oy, missed your comment. A good question you ask. If they have somewhere to fly, like a roof or a tree, they’re probably ok during the day. But a sleeping goose is seriously oblivious. Lots of friends here advise me to lock ’em up at night. But my kids sleep way up in a tree, which they chose by themselves, after abandoning the coup in the wake of a midnight unsuccessful but scary as hell attack a couple months ago.

  18. blonde_apocalypse

    It’s been my experience that if you look around for a bird and cannot locate it within a few seconds, it’s gone. Gone the way of the scraps from the “compost,” which is a term being interpreted here as “outdoor critter buffet.”


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