Saturday, December 10, 2011

The Floydyssey (Part Two)

Naked chicken. Sweater. At the time, it seemed
like a good idea….

(This image is ©Nancy Banks,
and can't be used without her written consent.)

Previously on this blog, I told you about Floyd, the wounded chicken. Yet more trauma awaits her:

The Floydyssey
Part Two

Floyd was okay for the weekend at least.
The dogs stayed in the house with us.
So Saturday morning I put Floyd in the dogs’ house with some fresh straw,
and she built a nest  
while I built her
a nice temporary pen
with a nesting box
under our second-story deck.

It was very cold work.

Monday came and I retrieved Floyd from the doghouse,
put her in her temporary pen,
fluffed her straw,
closed the pen up tight,
turned the dogs out into the yard for the morning,
and headed into town to work.

It was freezing cold.

When I got home and let the grateful dogs into the warm house,
I noticed I was missing
the smallest, least likable
member of the pack. 

I opened the back door and
called for Shorty.
I called again.
No Shorty.
I was puzzled.
He was
where the other dogs were,
trying to steal their goodies and commandeer their beds and bite them
when they weren’t expecting it. 

I put my coat back on and went out into the yard
to look for him.

I finally found him,
in Floyd's pen,
reclining entirely at his ease in her nest box,
Around him were scattered
of Floyd's feathers.
Floyd herself
cowered in the farthest corner of the pen,
stark naked. 

There was surprisingly little blood.

I didn’t even yell at Shorty—
the magnitude of his crime struck me dumb.
As did the fact that Floyd was still alive
I zipped her into my jacket
and went inside,
followed joyfully by Shorty,
who seemed to think the chicken rodeo
would be continued in warmer climes.

what to do with Floyd?
She couldn’t stay outside;
she was naked.

I couldn’t put her in the garage even though Shorty wasn’t allowed in it—
it was unheated
and she was naked.

But the basement offered
the dogs never went down there.
So that’s where she went,
wrapped in a towel so she'd stay warm.

I considered knitting her a sweater but
had my only flash of sanity in this entire episode
and instead
found a cardboard box
and shredded a bunch of newspaper into it.
I rubbed her down with salve,
put her in the box
with a bowl of water and another of mash,
and set the whole shebang by a heat vent. She acted surprisingly grateful,
for a chicken.

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