CHICKEN ON A LEASH

I’m telling you, I can’t get any respect from my relatives. Just the other day, Poppie told me something I wanted to do — that would benefit him financially — was crazy. He was most emphatic about it, too. CRAZY! You would think I orbit a moon that hangs slightly crooked and therefore suffer from a warped view of life.

When I indirectly suggest to him that some of my friends orbit the same moon by casually mentioning some oddball thing they plan to do, their plans don’t even garner a raised eyebrow.

For instance, just this week, I found myself leaning toward my computer monitor with mouth gaping wide open. Surely I had read it wrong. So I read my friend’s e-mail again. Yes, yes, that’s what she wrote.

Lam, who you will remember from Chickens, was responding to my email about BIG chicken news in the Sunday newspaper. The City Council had approved backyard chickens. A whopping 300 residents could become chicken holders. All this time, Lam and no telling how many other residents, were skirting the chicken coop laws.

Having already read the big news on Facebook, Lam went on to chat about her chickens congregating in the yard outside whatever room she occupied in the house.  Then she dropped the bomb that had me gawking. “They don’t know it yet but are about to start leash training….”

Leash training a chicken? I immediately pictured her walking down the sidewalk with a leash attached to tiny collars on their skinny little chicken necks. My first thought, of course, was “where will she find collars that small?” My second thought involved the Guinness Book of World Records.

I considered this at least equal to anything I had ever done in the Crooked Moon Department except, perhaps, attending the wrong funeral. Lam’s reason also had less going for it than the financial wisdom of my project that Poppie had deemed crazy. She wanted to leash train her chickens “just because I think it would be neato.” I considered the possibility that HER crooked moon was surrounded by glow-in-the-dark glitter-infused stars.

I took this wild plan of hers to Poppie and casually asked him just where she was going to find teeny tiny chicken collars. He said she would have to get a harness. I couldn’t imagine her chickens being agreeable to any plan involving a harness but, more importantly, Poppie didn’t raise a single eyebrow at Lam’s plan. Not fair!

Lam had already completed a chicken trade in the Wal-Mart parking lot so I knew she had this all figured out. Besides, her chickens really liked her. A lot. After dinner and Wheel of Fortune at Poppie’s, I emailed her with my questions.

It seems she was planning to use a soft strip of cloth as a start, “looped in front of the legs and behind the wings. They are underfoot all the time so it shouldn’t be so different than usual.”

It turns out the chickens viewed the leash as waaaaaay too different. Lam’s update email said they looked like blue marlins on a fishing line and royally scolded her for such audacious treatment. Undaunted, Lam theorized that “every dog I leash trained took a while, too, so no surprise there.”

Lam's chickens
Lam’s chickens — Spacy Lacy Greedyguts and Princess Penny Stinkypoops
Photo credit: Lam

However, she was surprised the next day when she walked out into the yard with the leash and both chickens bolted the minute they saw her. Ain’t that something? She treats them like people and then wonders why they can’t be tricked.

Her third training session involves putting the leash or harness in an enclosed area with lots of food to distract them then standing back to let them figure it out without associating HER with the harness.

I’m tellin’ ya, I really should get a little more respect.