Flyin’ the Coop

HU­MOR I never thought do­ing a fa­vor for a friend would put me in such a tight spot.

Country - - LOOKING BACK - BY STEPHANIE BLOC­K­EEL

y hus­band and I live in the coun­try, where we help out on the fam­ily farm, plant a huge gar­den ev­ery spring, raise chick­ens and cows, and grow grain on our lit­tle piece of par­adise.

One sum­mer day some friends asked for a fa­vor. They’d be camp­ing over the week­end and won­dered if I’d check on their chick­ens. “No prob­lem,” I said.

When I headed over to care for the birds, I ex­pected no trou­bles. I en­tered the coop with a bucket of wa­ter and was greeted with clucks of in­ter­est.

I filled the wa­terer and looked for eggs in the nest boxes, find­ing none. As I turned around I saw the door had swung open and a chicken was at­tempt­ing to es­cape. Mov­ing fast, I shooed her away from the door. Thank good­ness. I didn’t much feel like chas­ing a chicken around the yard.

Grabbing some feed, I went back into the coop and made sure the door closed prop­erly be­hind me. The girls eye­balled me cu­ri­ously as I filled their feeder.

Sat­is­fied they were all fine, I de­cided it was time to go. I pushed on the door. It wouldn’t open. I pressed

Mharder, think­ing it was stuck. Noth­ing. Per­plexed, I stared at it un­til the rea­son came to me. The wooden latch on the other side must have fallen down. I put my whole weight against the door. Again, noth­ing. I kicked it. No luck. I fi­nally ad­mit­ted de­feat.

“Should I call my hus­band?” I asked the chick­ens. They, of course, were no help.

I reached for the phone in my pocket and felt noth­ing. I‘d left it in the pickup. There were win­dows in the coop, but break­ing them was a last re­sort.

That’s when I saw the poop-cov­ered chicken door. “I guess that’s my best op­tion,” I sighed. All of a sud­den the chick­ens’ cluck­ing sounded like laugh­ter.

I crawled to­ward the chicken door and wig­gled my way out, try­ing to stay as clean as pos­si­ble. Luck­ily, I was able to squeeze through. Dust­ing my­self off, I made sure ev­ery­thing was se­cure and headed home.

Later on, I told my hubby the em­bar­rass­ing de­tails. He tried to keep a straight face but failed, and so did our friends. At least now I can see not only the hu­mor in it, but the fact that it’s the un­ex­pected that keeps life in­ter­est­ing.

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