Sunday, August 2, 2009

Farm Life

As the sun sets behind Forest Park, leaving the sky striped with a cotton candy pink and blue, the evening starts to cool, so I open the kitchen windows for some long-awaited fresh air. I feel a gentle coolness touch my face and shoulders; I inhale a deep breath....
...and then cough as my nose is filled with the aroma of chicken poop. Ahhhh...farm life.

Wait. We don't live on a farm. And why'd we put the chicken coop right outside the kitchen window? I'll never know. (Did you just say "chicken window"? 'Cause I just did.)

Either way, living on a farm--and I use the word farm very loosely here--with five kids affords us some good stories. For instance, to watch Micah chasing around the chickens, picking them up, gently stroking their feathers and nuzzling his face into their necks....it's precious. A little gross. But precious. Micah really loves those chickens.

In fact, they are his playmates! Earlier today, he took them, one by one, up into the playhouse and put them each on their own shelf in a little cabinet that used to be in our bathroom. He must have shut the glass door on the very contented Ruby while he went to wrangle Uncle Lucy. Dave caught Micah stuffing--errr, arranging, rather--his fluffy friend and made him let them loose immediately.

Later on in the evening, as the sky turned into the aforementioned cotton candy, I took the baby on a little stroll up to the market to buy bread. When we got back, Micah met me outside and said with eyes wide and brow raised like he does when he's telling you something amazing, "mommy--one ah da chickens is SICK! It peed on me! It was YELLOW!" And I immediately wondered if the chickens needed to drink more water on these hot days like the rest of us (ah-hem).

After interviewing several witnesses, the story unfolds: Micah was sitting on the ground with Ruby in his lap, stroking her back (Ruby is the most elusive; they must be developing quite a relationship). Taylor came around the corner and was a little taken aback to see Ruby's head bowed low to the ground, so he thinks Micah is killing her, and then--! A scuffling, details are fuzzy, the chicken skitters off and Micah jumps up with the golden goo dripping down his shorts...RUBY HAS LAID AN EGG!

If you don't know*, they come out soft and harden up if all is going as it should....but this one popped and left it's deflated-balloon-looking shell dismembered from its yolk, and a four-year-old boy shocked, disgusted, a little embarassed, and intrigued!

I am sorry. I know that is not what you hoped to read as you grabbed your mug of coffee, your egg sandwich and sat down at the computer. I mean, does anyone really want to think about the journey of the egg before it reaches your sandwich?

By the way, egg sandwiches (with tomatoes, avo, thinly sliced red onions, oh, and a little garlic aioli, preferably on ciabatta) are just the best way to eat eggs. And egg sandwiches top my list of types of sandwich. Just in case you were wondering.

So farm life: it is...good. This is the Vonderhaus Life!

*I don't know much about chickens myself...read the comments for some more info, and stay tuned, while I do some more research....

6 comments:

katieoz said...

Wendy, I was hanging on every word! You, my friend, are an excellent story-teller :)

amy said...

LOVE that story. and your lovely blog! and your lovely life! thanks for the peek inside.

chaundra said...

that was great! i had no idea eggs came out soft. you learn something new everyday...

Laura said...

Great story!!!!! Made me giggle and I could see it! Made me flash back to when I was about 3or 4 I put my brothers puppy in an ice chest that was airing out in the back yard, closed it, locked it and then had to go into the house. Everyone looked for that dog and found it dead in the chest. I only did my true confessions a few years ago that I had killed the dog. Sad but very funny family story!....Kids!

ibean said...

wendy, the heat zaps the calcium stores out of the chickens and they don't have enough to harden over their eggs..that's why they are soft. you have to put out calcium on the ground for them to pick up so they don't get depleted.

wendy said...

I have been wanting to do more research on this, because I really know so very little. I was waiting for someone to pipe up...thank you, ibean! I think it was weird that she laid an egg while Micah was holding her. Is that odd? Also, the eggs that are laid in the coop are hard...but often have a little break/hole at the tip. What does it mean? :)