Thursday, March 26, 2009
It has been quite a while since I have blogged......not because there aren't a gazillion stories constantly going in my head....but because I haven't sat down and typed them up. So, I am going to be a rule-breaker (if there are blogging rules) and do a re-post of one from August. One that I had posted through another source (not this one). Just call me a rebel, I guess.....and here it is!
E-I, E-I, Oh, Not In My Car! The past year has brought about many changes in my life. One of those changes includes my son becoming completely fascinated with hatching and raising chickens. I was raised on a farm, but I confess that I wasn’t directly involved with chickens - before now.
Last fall, Ty saved up some money to buy his own incubator, and talked us into ordering fertilized chicken eggs over the internet. (You see, the fall is not the time of year that hens around here are laying.) Out of these 12 eggs, 3 actually hatched, right in Ty’s bedroom - IN MY HOUSE! There names were Gumby, Pokey and Roger.
NOTE: They were contained until being moved outside. Never did I have chickens running through my house.
Now, let’s skip forward 9 months to the present - August 2008. Ty has increased his chicken farm to 14. Earlier, in the spring, Pokey (the only hen of the 3) was found dead. We don’t know what happened. Gumby and Roger are his 2 most special because they were the ones that hatched in his room.
So, it’s Saturday morning, and I am replying to a message from my dear friend, Angela, when Ty bursts into the house screaming for me. I look up to see him running toward me with Gumby in his arms screaming “Gumby’s dying! Call the vet!” I get enough out of him to discover that he thinks Gumby was kicked by a horse and he found him lying on the ground. Gumby’s eyes are barely open. I’m quite freaked out with a rooster in my house - but do manage to call the vet and at least ask if they will look at him. All the while, changing out of my gown into a shorts set.
We jump into the car - yes a dying rooster in the back seat of my Lincoln! I grabbed an old Bob the Builder bed sheet for Ty to hold under Gumby…….Ty didn’t comply.
A most frantic drive to the vet - Ty is screaming and begging Gumby not to die…..Joey calls me on the phone to say, “Surely you‘re taking a D#%* chicken to the vet!?”, of which I sharply reply, “Yes, I am! If something happens, at least he’ll know his Mom tried!” As I put the car in park at the vet, I - once again - remind Ty to put the sheet under Gumby. Ty tells me “It’s too late” and I look down to see chicken dunk running down Ty…..and onto my seat! Obviously, not a time to discipline Ty for not listening….so I go over to wipe some up, and my gag reflexes kicked in….causing me to almost hurl in the parking lot before going into the vet office.
Ty, usually a shy, stand-in-the-background kid, bursts into the office through the back doors…..and went straight to the vet (who shall remain nameless). He was begging him to please look at his rooster. The vet blew him off and continued looking at a horse that was not in immediate danger. You must understand, this is a little boy, crying and begging for someone to look at his pet…..and this guy blows him off. Gumby’s head is now drooping to the side and his eyes are closed. Finally, Dr. NICE WOMAN sees him and SHE takes some time to search for vital signs. She breaks the news to Ty that Gumby is gone and tells him that she understands. She, too, had a pet chicken when she was younger.
Picture us, standing in the hall of the vet. My son sobbing into the gross Bob the Builder sheet…..and along come two toothless men to tell us that, maybe if we blow into its butt a few times, he may come back to life. They also tell Ty that they would give him a couple of roosters (I’m sure that fight). I didn’t respond.
With tears running down both of our faces, Ty picks up Gumby and we get back in the car. Yes, now I have chicken dunk and a dead rooster in the back seat of my Lincoln. Gag reflexes are really not doing well by now.
We get home, and Ty says (while getting out of the car), “Oh, Mom, he’s turning stiff!” and I catch a glimpse of 2 stiff rooster legs behind me. Don’t hurl, Jen, I think.
So, as he has a few last moments with Gumby - I clean, bleach, scrub, and vacuum my car. Seriously almost hurling the whole time.
Then, we all gather round the grave in the corner of the fence to say our final farewells to Gumby. Ty plucks a few feathers to keep in his memory. And, we mark the grave with a stepping stone.
Sometimes I think about the fact that we have buried so many animals and, if our land is ever excavated, they may think we participated in some type of sadistic rituals.
However, in memory of Gumby, we did not eat any chicken all weekend.
Old MacDonald doesn’t have JACK on me!!!