Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Chicken Who Came for Christmas

Guess who Patrick spied pecking around in our backyard yesterday afternoon? A chicken.

Our Binghamton backyard. Not in Gilbertsville, where there's poultry a-plenty, but in urban, residential West Side Binghamton. In the snow.

And being the irrepressible animal-lover that he is, he caught it. He walked around the block. He asked the mailman if anyone around here kept chickens. (They're actually legal in Binghamton; we have a neighbor down the street with hens.) Negative.

And now we have a chicken. And what are we going to do?

I grew up with a flock of barnyard chickens, and so there's a soft spot in my heart. I've been planning on someday having a flock in Gilbertsville (someday being the operative word) once we've endeared ourselves to our neighbors enough that they won't come over to bludgeon us when our rooster starts crowing at 4:30am. But that was going to be someday. Not now. Not here. Not sitting in a cat carrier on the kitchen table.

But there she is, peering out skeptically at us. There she is, gobbling up the rolled oats and kale I fed her, and sleeping with her head tucked under her wing. In the cat carrier. Oh dear.

Last night, the subjects of our spoken sentences were things like "chicken wire panels," "heat lamp," and "pecking order." We named her, too, and that's never a good sign. Oh dear. I think she may be staying. Though she fits with no plans, she has made her agenda clear. When something feathered shows up in your life in mid-December, you make due. You give it the best home you can.


michelle said...

this made me cry. not kidding.

Anonymous said...

Yay chickens! I love my chickens, I bet you will too. You could just start with a few hens, that way you don't have to worry about neighbors hating you. Besides, she'll need at least one friend, chickens are flock birds after all.

What's her name?

Kristina Strain said...

Genevieve. :)

Huhnybee said...

Awe, she's very pretty. What a happy little, clucky addition to the fam.

karen said...

awww, shes gorgeous! Im glad your keeping her, shel be very happy with you two

Becky said...

Now I don't have to wait for the "one day" after y'all to move to Gilbertsville. I can start living vicariously through you raising Genevieve!

I miss having hens......

Emily said...

Oh man!!!! I always hoped that if one of my city hens got loose that someone like you would find her! We feel the same way, using all the new terminology. We have had to do some exchanges as well, walking a mile home from a friend's house with two hens in cat carriers, once even biking with a wicker basket on a handle carrying a hen!!

Will there be any friends for Genevieve? Such a pretty name. :)

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