Trees had over-taken my otherwise plush yard, leaving lovely shaded patterns all about, feeding underneath them was a herd of deer. As they peacefully munched the young foliage my chickens pecked among them, eagerly pursuing fresh tidbits of their own. Suddenly a large dog runs in, scattering the flock, frightening the deer and attacking Randy, my wise old rooster! Frantically I tore open the safe, grabbed my trusted 30-06 rifle and a box of shells. To my horror the shells were for a 308, tossing them aside I grabbed another box, 7mm, chicken cries filled the air as tears blurred my vision I kept searching but never found the right caliber and all that was left of Randy were a few feathers and a bloody trail into the forest.
This was the dream I had about a week ago. Since I have weird dreams on somewhat of a regular basis, this one didn’t bother me for very long. Fast-Forward to Sunday the 28th.
I set out for my Sunday run decked out in a pair of shorts I’ve never run in before. This turned into a problem, hang onto that. However the first 1.5 miles went very smoothly, I was feeling quite fit and fast, mentally patting myself on the back for improving my pace by over 3 minutes. Then I saw a dog. The dog saw me. We saw each other and this dog, a bird dog complete with mottled coat and pointed tail, made friends with Nosey, my dog. I told the dog to go home. It didn’t mind very well. So I kept on running toward home thinking it would stop at one of the two houses I ran past with yards full of dogs and people. He did pop in to say “Hello” then rejoined me as quickly as possible. I stopped and yelled at him “GO HOME YOU STUPID DOG!”. Nosey vanished into thin air but the worrisome bird dog stayed right behind me. Another 2/10 of a mile went by before I tried again, this time adding some semi-effective rock throwing into the mix. I thought I’d lost him, relieved I set out to knock another minute off my time. Then my upper left thigh started to burn. These new shorts I thought would be super-great to run in, turned out to not be so super-great. You see, while I am running longer and faster and feel great, my thighs have failed to shrink. I think they may even be getting (heaven forbid) LARGER! Stronger, firmer but LARGER. Therefore they were rubbing together which is totally uncool and unattractive and uncomfortable. And the shorts, they had a seam in just the right, or not-so-right, spot which in turn rubbed my thigh with each pace, creating a horrific chafing of the skin. So I was trying to run (if you can, picture this), so I was trying to run with my legs splayed apart, tugging at the flimsy material in vain, seeking relief of any kind. Thank you God I live in the boondocks and nobody saw me, photographed me or recorded my off-tilt, off-kilter, thigh-rubbing mess of a run this thing had morphed into. I could have garnered a lot of unmerited sympathy had there been witnesses “Oh look at the poor dear, trying to run” “Yes, that is so good she’s trying to get in shape, bless her heart”. “Isn’t that special……..”
Then I saw The Dog. Then I remembered I turned the chickens out a mere hour ago! Then I remembered my dream! Chaffed thighs aside I picked up the pace, frantic to get home a few minutes ahead of the dog. Up the driveway, thru the yard and into the house I ran, attempting to control my breathing as I punched the code into the safe, knowing I had no time to lose, CLICK, I was in! I grabbed a gun, wrong one. I grabbed another gun, wrong one. On the verge of panic I grabbed a third gun, BINGO! Hello 30-06 with Leupold scope and left-handed bolt-action! Now for some bullets…..I could feel the bird dog getting closer. The second box I touched held a dozen bullets of the correct caliber. I quickly flipped off the safety, slid the bolt back and loaded up 3 rounds, jacking one into the chamber as I ran back out the door. Addie, watching Gilligan’s Island, jumped up and ran behind me yelling “What’s wrong Mom?!” “A dog!” I replied as I continued to run. My chickens, all 34 of them, came happily trotting to me from the barn. The dog was at the gate, about to enter the driveway and have a direct line of sight to my darlings, all oblivious to the danger they were in. Walking toward the dog I pointed my barrel toward the tree tops and squeezed off a shot “KABOOM”. ( I had forgotten how loud my trusty firearm was). “GIT HOME DOG, GIT HOME RIGHT NOW!” (My country accent comes out when I yell, panic or ‘git’ excited) “KABOOM”, another shot toward the sky. The chickens were freaking out, flying, sqawking, running, clucking and making general idiots of themselves. “Addie, run to the barn and get them some scratch NOW!” She ran, quickly, to the barn, opened the tack room door and scooped up the chickens favorite treat of blended corn, milo, oats and sunflower seeds. “Hereeeeee Chick Chick” I could hear her calling. As the chickens ran back to the barn, comforted by the food they were about to receive, I watched the dog as he high-tailed it back down the dirt road from whence be came. When I could no longer see him I jacked the remaining shell out of my rifle, gathered my empties and put my gun up, ready for the next crisis.
All this happened in less than 3 minutes and I must say, I was so proud of Addie who held up beautifully amid the chaos. Nosey did make it home about an hour after things had calmed down, I made sure she knew she wasn’t in trouble. It was that bad old bird dog who made this Wicked Chicken run. Thank goodness things turned out well for everyone, unlike my dream. The only sufferers are known as my thighs, and they are recovering nicely.