Yesterday was supposed to be a big day. I decided that I would permit one chick to free-range. Standing, I unlatched the front door of the run, and told the girls that one of them could come out. "But not you, Loretta," I had to add, because she is still too lickety-split for me to catch. Petunia stepped forward cautiously, but soon had second thoughts and ran back toward the coop, flapping her wings.
Then I sat down on the ground, and they all dashed to the front, clamoring to get out like a bunch of Wednesday matinee-goers at a Broadway show. We'll miss the bus! Hurry! Despite the fact that I am the daily cafeteria attendant and housekeeper for the group, they think, "Predator?" unless I sit. I had forgotten.
While I held the others at bay, Bossy emerged. She pecked at my watch, she pecked at my Read bracelet, she free-ranged approximately four inches from the run, and then lay down beside it. After pacing around the entry way on the other side, the remaining group clustered in a corner, and then they lay down as close to Bossy as they could get.
Free-ranging was going nowhere. I returned Bossy to the others. Feathers were fluffed and realigned, legs were stretched, and the chickens resumed their previous, desultory activities.
The chicken whisperer was back at elementary school. I'll have to ask his advice.
The picture book of the day is the classic Petunia, by Roger Duvoisin. Petunia the goose thinks that she is brilliant because she carries around a book. She dispenses wacky advice, which brings chaos to the barnyard. After a while, the situation explodes. A fowl comedy indeed.