B2 brought home a list from school yesterday. He was supposed to write down ways that he was unique. The capitalized darkened sentence midway down the page caught my eye. “I am short and proud of it,” it read. The sentence before said, “I have a chicken named Tailless.” I remembered that I was remiss in writing about County Road 21, if I failed to write about Tailless.
In my perfect world, I would always be able to look out the window and see a chicken. Due to the effect on the driveway, my husband does not agree. I go in spurts leaving the coop door open anyway until the foxes catch on. The summer they got 14, we kept the chickens in for more than a year. Then this summer I started letting them out again. At first, strictly as a Sabbath observance. But the need for Sabbath grew until the chickens were out whenever the wind blew.
Foxes, observing the extended Sabbath struck again. They got three and a third chickens in one afternoon – which is when Tailless got her name. She took over sitting on the eggs all day for so long we thought she would never leave. B2 started disappearing into the chicken coop at odd times and taking five times as long to collect the eggs. Turns out he had fallen in love with Tailless and was hand feeding her grain, and stealing her scraps from the house.
“I need money,” he announced one day. “Do you have any work I can do?”
“I want to buy a chicken. It can live with the rest of them, but it has to be mine. Would you sell me one?”
“Ok,” I said.
“How much would a chicken cost me anyway? Tailless. How much would you charge me for Tailless?”
“Two dollars,” I said and his eyes lit up.
“I have that much on my dresser right now!” He tore up the stairs to his room and returned with a toonie. He handed it to me and we shook hands. Then he was gone.
Twenty minutes later, while I was making dinner, he returned from the chicken coop to talk shop.
“It feels so good to own something,” he said, hands shoved in his pockets, standing by the kitchen counter. “I went and told Tailless she was mine. It just feels so good, Mom.” And he was gone again.
Image one is a sleepy Tailless wondering why I am in the coop at night. I cropped it in usual techno challenged fashion to give a better view of her altered shape. Her tail has actually grown back quite a bit. Image two is her in action this morning whereby I learned again that photographing chickens (tailless or otherwise) is quite difficult, as they are always in motion.