Thursday, October 2, 2008

Please Don't Peck My Toenails Off

Yesterday I was working in Kentucky. Apparently, my company is "between" inspectors in that area and often when this happens, I'll make special runs to "clean up" an area until they can hire someone. Such has been the case the past couple of weeks.

Yesterday was a beautiful day in Kentucky and Tennessee. The highs were in the 70s which is perfect weather for me. I called A., who lives in Kentucky, and commented on how much I think the farmlands in Kentucky remind me of Kyrgyzstan. She agreed that it was a lot like the country we saw during our rides from Bishkek to Tokmok.

Toward the end of the day, I was farther out in the country in a very rural area. I pulled up to a house to do a farm inspection. There were a couple of Amish gentlemen working on a barn when I pulled up and I asked if this was "so and so's" residence and if he was home. They told me the wife was inside. As I proceeded to the front door, they told me to go around to the back door. Ok, smile and walk.

Now, let me give you some history and information. In my job, and especially in the country, I come across a lot of dogs. Dogs, generally, don't bother me, but I know the risks associated with walking up on and scaring a dog. So, when I go into a back yard, I'm very cautious and my nerves are on high alert waiting to see if there is a dog hiding somewhere. That's an important fact.

Second, you can see from a post here that I've had run-in's with chickens before. There is also this rooster from Portland, TN whose photo I took back in March 2006 who chased me round and round a house, attempting to peck me to keep me away from "his" house.

This is important fact number two. So, suffice it to say, I am cautious around roosters and chickens as well. I'm not sure which is worse, a pit bull or a hepped up chicken. Seriously.

So, I round the side of the house and see one of my favorite things in the world trotting to me, a cat. I start to call the cat as he is trotting toward me. Oops. Apparently, the owners have free range chickens (of some variety), and apparently it was 1) feeding time, or 2) they were pretty tame and excited to see me because all of a sudden about fifty chickens began to run straight for me. Oh.My.Goodness.

I stopped an took my clipboard and started going, "Stop. Get back. Go away." and swooshing my clipboard at them -- trying hard to protect my open toes in my sandals. Oh, please Lord, don't let them peck my toes. This was my prayer. There were just too many of them to fend off. I was too far to make a break for the car and still too far to make it to the safety of the back door. STUCK.

Finally, after surrounding me, I inched toward the door, talking all along to the chickens and praying they don't start pecking at my feet, and the lady came to the door. I told her who I was and then said, "Are the chickens hungry or are they going to peck my toenails off?" She laughed and said, "They think you are going to feed them." WHEW!!! Big sigh of relief. At this point, I considered asking for chicken feed.

However, I made two entire trips around that house because my batteries died and I had to go to the car and the entire time I was there, every step I made, those fifty chickens and two cats made with me. It actually became funny toward the end. I thought to myself, "Good grief, I am a Pied Piper to chickens!!!" When I'd bend down to pet the cat, the chickens would all rush up closer. I gave up on the cats.

Here are some of the photos of them I took. It would have taken a wider angle lens than I have to have captured them all around me.

Here they come rushing toward me -- notice the ring leaders are the cats!! I'm a little to freaked to capture a good picture at this point -- most of them are to the right more.

Making the rounds to the front of the house -- notice the cat is still in the midst of the mix.All the running around (like chickens with our heads cut off - sorry, couldn't pass that one up), has worn out the cat who has now set down.

This chicken had pretty fluffy legs, I thought.

So, see, never a dull moment in my life or my job. Beats sitting behind a desk any day.

1 comment:

Monica said...

OMGosh... crazy chickens! That was quite entertaining to read!