Lately The Mob has been giving me grief. You remember this batch of chicks that hatched one at a time over the course of almost 3 weeks?
much they have decided they don't like being oppressed by "the man" and
have refused to go into their coop at nite. Every nite its a chase to
get them all locked up tight and safe from the yowling coyotes and foxes
that we've been hearing. The Mob had decided to stage and protest and
set up camp in the lower goat yard. That's right, its the Occupy the
The other night, tired from doin'
stuff all day I tried to reason with them and shouted, "Hey, you
chickens! Get up here, find a roost, and put you butt on it!"
Mocking jeers were their only reply. I marched down there.
a chase, some swearing, and a whole lotta "Why you, I oughta's" I got
most of them into the coop and on a roost. They forgot about their
protest once they saw their feed. All but one were safely tucked in and
ready for bed. A lone rooster from the lineage of Mr. Noodles, that beautiful blue roo we had a while back, refused to come in for the right.
stomped back down to their now empty camp in the lower goat yard. There
was a chase. About the fourth time around the goat yard I was getting
frustrated. The sun was going down and there were others to take care of
so I got the dogs.
"You can't do that!" Shouted the lone rooster.
what? Quit being so ridiculous and go to bed! Now." I was getting
steamed. Kai and Titan, positioned behind me, were starting to paw
around eager to get into the fray.
"This is a
non-violent protest and you can't just bring in the brute squad! I speak
for the people. I am the 99%!" The little rooster crowed. He had
stopped running and decided to stand his ground. He put his wings around
a tree and hugged it.
"For the love of Pete, get up here and go to bed!"
He hugged the tree tighter.
I commanded, "Get down there and get me that rooster!" The big dog took
off with a mighty bound. Seeing the enormous dog coming for him the
little rooster's courage broke and he started to run with Ti right
behind him. Normally the chickens will just get scared and run up to the
hen house. And Titan knows how to herd them up there.
"Help! Help!" Cried the little rooster.
"Are you being repressed by the violence inherent in the system?" I yelled back, watching the chase.
"That's not funny!" He was just plain mad now. And slowing down as he was getting tired from running in wild circles.
it is." I said as he made another lap around the big pine tree. Then I
made a series of clicking noises to get Ti's attention to signal him to
back off from his pursuit. I was pretty sure that little rooster was
heading toward the hen house. They never keep this up for too long.
the little rooster came over and stood at my feet. "Look," he said
shaking his fist at me, "we're mad as hell and we aren't gonna take it
anymore! This whole 'barnyard' system is totally unfair. Your greed is
ruining everything. We're having a revolution and it starts now."
I folded my arms across my chest and raised an eyebrow, "Is that right?"
"Yes." Said my little protester, "I am a male-bodied chicken and I demand...."
"You're a WHAT?"
"I said I'm a male-bodied chicken..."
I looked at him incredulously. "You are a rooster not a 'male-bodied chicken'. Now go to bed."
of a sudden he started wiggling his wing feathers at me in a weird way.
"What the heck is that, Little Rooster?" I asked totally confused.
"Its our way of saying that I don't agree with you." He carefully explained.
"Get in the hen house." I told him sternly.
not the boss of me! We want a new economy here where everyone is equal
and everyone can do whatever they want!" He was starry-eyed imagining
the new world order.
"Well you can't just do whatever
you want," I whipped out a picture of the great philosopher, Spock, and
stuck it in the Little Rooster's face. "Do you see this? Don't you
understand the concept that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of
the few? Everyone has their place and everyone works for the good of
all not just the one. You're not just gonna stay out here and be coyote
bait. Don't you see its all part of the circle of life and it spins
mighty tightly around here? So fall in line and get in that hen house!"
is what a police state looks like! This is what a police state looks
like!" He yelled pumping his fist in the air. Then he turned and waggled
his bottom at me, then smirked "Kiss it copper! Talk to the tail
feathers!" And then he ran off again toward the bottom of the goat yard.
I commanded and the young curly tailed dog sprang to attention. This
was it. This was the first time she was asked to be part of the barnyard
round up. This was her chance to prove to Titan that she could be a
Hard Working Farm Dog and not just a huntress. My Fighting Uruk-hai verily quivered with anticipation as she awaited her assignment.
nodded in the direction that the Little Rooster ran off and said, "Get
me that rooster." And she was off. Ti and I watched as she thundered
down the hillside, muscles bunching to hurl her huge body forward, eyes
focused like lasers on the rooster, ears pitched forward...she was
magnificent. She zigged when he did, zagged when he did, and never broke
her line of sight or concentration. And never going for the kill.
"Not bad" I said to Ti who, watching Kai, nodded his approval.
the Little Rooster panicked. Instead of heading back up the hill to the
hen house he turned and darted thru the fence into the no man's land -
Fox Central - the brambles between us and the neighbor's property. He
disappeared into the underbrush.
Kai hit the electric
fence like a freight train. From our vantage point up on the hill both
Titan and I cringed waiting for her screams of pain. But she'd managed
to avoid getting zapped by the powerful charge that will leave a burn on
your arm and give you a twitch in your eye for two days. Don't ask me
how I know this.
Unfortunately Kai was now "out of
bounds" which is a hanging offense especially since she was all amped up
on her prey drive and heading towards the neighbors goat yard. I
shouted the series of commands instructing Kai to "stop what you're
doing", "look at me", and "come here right now!"
The big curly tailed huntress pulled up short, turned, and trotted her victory lap up the hillside.
That Little Rooster was on his own. In this barnyard we'll do what's
reasonably necessary to bring in the stragglers. But unfortunately for
him we don't have a "no rooster left behind" policy. The dogs and I gave
one last look for that Little Rooster and then turned to go inside just
as it was getting too dark to see.
Early the next
morning, well before sunrise I took Zander the pup out for a quick walk.
He and I stumbled around in the dark until suddenly we both turned
toward the far side of the goat yard. We heard a series of tiny screams
and the snickering of a hundred foxes closing in on their prey. The
The barnyard was a little sullen
that morning during chores. But you can bet your bottom dollar that most
of The Mob were already inside with their butts on roosts when I went
out for evening chores. All but a few who stood just inside the hen
house door shouting their thanks and well wishes. "Thanks for keeping us
safe! Great work securing the borders!" They all applauded and smiled
as the big dog and I walked up to close the door.
ended the Occupy the Barnyard protests in our neck of the woods.
Everything seems to have gotten back to normal. The other morning I
overheard one of the older hens explaining to a younger hen that, "Look.
Around here their are winners and there are losers. You're gonna feed
her one way or another so you might as well lay an egg."
I smiled and nodded to myself. And so it goes.