She has them and I want them… henfruit , otherwise known as eggs. The basic conflict between womankind and chickenkind plays out every day at HomePlace.
The day’s offering rests in the nest box, but some seem to be missing. The chickens’ opening gambit is to hide eggs in a corner of the pen. The pen is only three-and-a-half feet tall. I can’t go in after the eggs, so I need to use a “grabber”, one of those sticks with pinchers on one end to reach through the fence. Cantankerous chickens lay as close to the fence as they can. The finer wire close to the ground blocks the “grabber’s” reach. While I manipulate grabber around, the rooster lines up for a cheap shot at my hand. His favorite bite is the spot between my index finger and thumb—oh, so very tender! Shaking my hand in pain, one eye on the rooster, I find a stick and use it like a pool cue to knock the egg away from the fence. Finally I close the pincers around the egg, lift and… “plop!” The egg falls from the pincers. “Oh, hot ham!” I shout. Or something similar. Repeat the process until I get the egg threaded through the fence. Helene—1, chickens— 0.
While I’m angling for eggs, another hen plants herself over the clutch of eggs in the box. Her beak is facing out, and murder shines in her beady orange eyes. I have to open the pen door to get her off the nest. She growls in warning (yes, chickens growl), and the rooster rushes up to help. Already wounded, I wave the grabber menacingly in his face. He strikes at it with spurs, so I give him a mighty shove while I knock the top off the nest box. Glove on one hand I reach toward the hen to dislodge her. She pecks me smartly on the wrist just above the glove. “Ow! Schmidt!” I squeal. Helene—1, chickens —1.
I retreat to the house, arm myself with tasty kitchen scraps, and return to battle. I push the scraps through the fence into a far corner, open the gate again, and snatch up the eggs before the foul creatures finish their snack. I think I deserve a point for each egg, which would net me seven points. Hubby says that’s cheating. Helene—2, chickens —1. I am the winner for the day! I cheer myself loudly and go for a band-aid.
Toting the egg basket, I return to the arena. I look into the nest box and shriek,” Ham, ham, ham!” Defiant chickens glare as I look at shards of eggshells in the box. They ate them!!! They ate my eggs!” Chickens get a penalty for unsportsmanlike behavior. I clean out the remains and stomp to the house.
I select an egg from the fridge, tap a hole in each end, and blow the contents out into a bowl. I apply a waterproof band-aid adhesive to the larger hole, and grab a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce I fill the egg, and apply the other half of adhesive to seal the egg bomb. Back to the pen I go. I wear a malicious smile as I place the egg into the nest box.” Go ahead girls, eat my egg!” I say.
I retreat to my lawn chair to watch and wait. I wanna know, do I get points or a penalty ? What do you think?