Feb 012023

Yesterday started off with a visit from my friend TW Robinson , author of the excellent books The Retirement, and How To Self-Publish Your Book For Free And Not Get Conned. Besides being a great guy and fun to hang out with, TW is a retired Tuscaloosa police officer with a lot of stories to tell. He is currently working on a new series, and I can’t wait to read it.

After TW left I spent some time finishing opening boxes and arranging more books on my bookshelves. I’m glad that job is over, and that we have more open floor space that had been filled with boxes. Since we have to go back to Florida for one last load of stuff from our house there, I am putting all of the empty boxes in our cargo trailer to be reused again for that trip.

Later in the afternoon our son Travis and his wife Geli came over and spent a couple of hours helping move all of the stuff that had been piled up in the garage after being unloaded from the U-Haul truck. Some of it went into the house and the rest was carefully stacked to one side so the guys delivering our tornado shelter tomorrow will have room to work. I don’t know what we’d do without all of their help.

I have written before about the hen I call Chicken Little, who the previous owners of our place were not able to catch when they moved the rest of their flock. She has been hanging out alone since then and we were worried that some predator would get her. Though the chickens were all hand-raised, she is an independent little girl and just did not want to cooperate in efforts to catch her.

Travis and Geli have their own flock of chickens and said they would try to corral her and take her home to join their flock, and after it got dark (because according to Travis, chickens can’t see well at night) they commenced to begin what can only be called the Great Chicken Roundup. Trust me, it was worthy of America’s Funniest Home Videos!

Chicken Little had been spending her nights on our back deck, so they tried to approach her stealthily from two directions, thinking they would have her trapped between them. But Chicken Little wasn’t having any of that, and she took off across the yard. For a critter that “can’t see well after dark” she had no trouble eluding their best efforts to catch her. Oh, and did I tell you it was cold outside and had started to rain?

Being a seasoned newspaperman, I knew it was not my job to interfere. My professional role in all of this was to stay inside and watch out the windows so I could report on it later. Besides, I told you it was cold outside and had started to rain, right?

Eventually the pursuit moved to the front of the house, and I saw Chicken Little running from one end to the other, with Geli right behind her. Telling Travis to stay there to catch the hen when she came back around, Geli reversed her course and went back in the direction from whence she came, planning to head the renegade bird off at the pass.

Now, I have to tell you, I love Geli like she is my own flesh and blood, but it was a sight that I just could not help laughing at, as suddenly Chicken Little came running back from around the corner of the house, wings outstretched, with Geli right on her tail feathers! They went around the other corner and down the walkway between the house and garage, headed for the backyard again.

By the time I got to the back room I heard Travis saying the chicken was under the raised foundation where we have our kayaks stashed. I figured that was it for the night and they would have to try again on another day. But I forgot that my daughter-in-law is a determined Southern country gal, and once she sets her mind to something, nothing is going to stop her! She got down in the mud and crawled right in after the chicken and grabbed her, ending the Great Chicken Roundup once and for all.

The crazy thing was, as soon as Geli had her cradled in her arms, Chicken Little calmed right down and had no problem letting us pet her. I guess knew she was in loving hands.

They took her home and put her in a coop by herself for the night, and today they will introduce her to their flock of birds. Travis says chickens are naturally social animals, so hopefully she’ll fit right in and make herself at home. Then again, he said chickens can’t see well at night, too. I guess nobody told Chicken Little about that. Or maybe she’s part bat and has built in sonar. Either way, I’m glad she is safe now. Tune in next week for an exciting episode we will call Rooster Wrangling!

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us.

Thought For The Day – My goal is to die young, as late as possible.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  3 Responses to “The Great Chicken Roundup”

  1. Read The Retirement a while back on your recommendation and found it an intriguing story. I couldn’t put it down until it was finished. Oh boy what an ending.

  2. LOL! Great reporting, Nick! Felt like I was right there with you… out of the rain, fortunately. We’re all glad that Chicken Little is now safe in the coop. I’m looking forward to hearing about your tornado shelter next!

  3. Keep in mind that chickens have a pecking order. It will be interesting to know where she fits in. From the sounds of her, she might end up the boss!

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