Sunday, April 10, 2011

How to make a chicken happy

The majority of today was spent online. I spent hours staring at the computer screen but got little accomplished. For various reasons, I haven't yet been able to finish filing my tax extension request -- that took at least two hours of my day -- and it still not done. I am also in the middle of posting my resume online on various web sites for teachers -- there are some pieces of information that I don't have for that -- so that's not done, either. I wanted to send resumes to some of the postings I found that looked like suitable jobs for me, but with slow-ish internet and incomplete information online, I ended up sending out only two resumes. Two. For the number of hours I sat and worked online, two resumes is not what I would call "productive."

And, what's more, I hate sitting. Combine sitting with a computer and looking for a job, and you have a trifecta of horrible-ness. Finally around five o'clock, I couldn't take it anymore. I shut my laptop -- I'd been working on it since eleven this morning -- and told Tea that I needed to do some manual labor. She laughed, and we headed outside.

The soil in the flower garden needed to be dug up and turned over, but we needed to borrow a long-handled spade. Tea and I walked over to the neighbor's house and borrowed two.

We carried them back to the yard, stepped over the drooping, rusty, chain-link fence that surrounds the flower garden, and got to work turning over the dirt.

This job should have been done a few weeks ago. Since it wasn't, the weeds had grown up to cover most of the topsoil, making our job a bit more difficult. The weeds are the stringy-viney kind that cling to and climb up everything. Chopping through them was half of the difficulty of the job. But it felt great to move and work.

Turning over large clumps of dark, moist earth stirs up lots of earthworms. I love worms. They fascinate me -- smooth and efficient. There is so little to them, but they can squirm through hard-packed dirt better than my steel spade (probably because a spade doesn't "squirm"). As I turned over one lump of soil, an especially large worm wriggled up out of the ground. I snatched it up before it could dive back down below the surface, and showed Tea. She freaked out -- jumped back, muttering in Georgian faster than I've ever heard her talk before, holding onto her heart. She hates worms. I didn't know that. I was laughing so hard, I couldn't put the worm down. She continued to react, still creeped-out that I was holding the worm. I couldn't stop laughing, either. Finally I dropped the worm, and we stood, doubled over our implements in peals of laughter.

Then the chickens showed up. They love worms, but not for the same reasons I do -- chickens love worms because they are tender and juicy. Soon Tea and I had lots of company with us in the garden -- about ten hens and a rooster. I started grabbing the uprooted worms (subtly so Tea wouldn't notice) and tossing them to the chickens. They scurried after the gifts and gobbled them up.

That's how you make a chicken happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment