Chicken Little

My youngest chicken, Willow, was broody.  She firmly planted herself in a nesting box keeping company with two golf balls.  When I checked on her, the feathers on the back of her neck rose like fine, reddish-brown needles.  She was cranky and solitary.  She wasn't laying eggs.  She wasn't granting entry for the other four chickens during the day.  I would force her out of her solitary confinement each day to make sure she had access to food and water but she promptly returned to her nest to guard the golf balls.

After two weeks of this behavior I decided that she needed a nice, warm bath to distract her from her broodiness.  I filled the kitchen sink basin with warm water and carefully placed Willow into the water.  She shook her body like a dog and flapped her wings which gave me a bath, too.  It seemed like she was okay with this new adventure because she settled into the warm water fairly quickly.  

When I was ready to remove her from the sink, I faced the challenge of wrapping a towel around her.  I needed two hands to hold Willow and keep her from trying to fly.  I looked down at the floor and saw a perfect space between the sink and my sleeping dog, Molly.  I dropped the towel to the floor, plucked Willow from her bath and set her in the center of the towel.  Willow turned her head to the left and screamed.  Molly had woken and was staring back at the dripping chicken.  The Englishman ran into the house and asked "Are you okay?"  I assured him that I was fine and that it was the chicken screaming.  The Englishman scoffed and said "I was asking the chicken, not you."

I wrapped Willow tightly in the towel and carried her into a patch of sun on the deck.  I sat down in a chair and held her in my lap.  She was peacefully basking in the sun until Chase approached and nudged me under my right arm for me to pet him.  Willow stared at the dog and then screamed again.  Her screams were loud, obnoxious and echoed across the pond.  I decided that I couldn't have the neighbors call the police so I patted the chicken dry as best as I could and returned her to the coop.

When I checked on her an hour later, she was dry and happily keeping the golf balls company once more.

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