© Eddie Rhoades
Olen wanted me to write about the great chicken caper but I have bigger fish to fry since I won the lottery. I guess most of you know by now that I won Eight Million Dollars in the Georgia lottery. The next day I called in sick and didn’t go to work.
I bought both my neighbors houses and lots on each side of me. I even bought one neighbor’s dog. Paid $200 for that mongrel. He said it was a hunting dog but I doubt it. All that dog ever did was bark day and night. As soon as I handed over the money I drug that mutt by the leash and tied him up in my yard. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with him but I thought about the dog in the movie “Vacation.” About that time I saw an animal control truck coming down the street so I flagged him down and said “take this dog with you.” That’s the end of his infernal barking. The neighbor began flailing my back with his tiny little fists saying “You barbaric fool, you got rid of my dog.” I reminded him that “No, I had just gotten rid of MY dog.”
But on with the story. I hired a bulldozer to push down the house I had just bought then I got on the phone with Bill Bricker and told him to send me a few truckloads of topsoil and composttoast. You probably have figured out by now that I have a vision of expanding my garden. Probably vegetables on one side, an orchard on the other, and in the middle, my present garden with flowers and ornamentals. As you can see, some of us don’t think big.
For the vegetable side I went to Reeve’s Garden Shop. There stood Olen Morgan behind the counter telling a customer how Eddie Rhoades had tried to “show” his gourds over the radio. They laughed even harder when they saw me come in. I figure turn about is fair play, since people are always asking Kathy Henderson to identify some plant she can’t see which they’re describing over the radio.
Since I mentioned it earlier, I will tell you about the Great Chicken Caper. I started out with a pair of BB red bantam chickens. A rooster called BB and a hen named Lucille. Had them both for about a year and a half. Those chickens followed me all around the garden and would even eat out of my hand. One day Lucille just disappeared. I figure some cat got her. By the way, I hear cat’s make excellent fertilizer. I suppose by now, I’ve offended all the cat and dog lovers. Funny how society allows us to have these two pets but something practical like a chicken are considered livestock and frowned on. I sure did miss that little hen and BB, poor guy, was moping around all quiet and lonesome. I was telling Olen how sorry I felt for him, and he says “I believe I can find you another hen.”
So we jump in Olen’s truck and a half – the one with the gun rack, the mud flaps that say “Back Off”, the OOGA horn, and the flags flying off the back.
We drove straight to Emily Carson’s house. I say straight, but really never could find that place again by myself. It was a long ways off and a lot of turns. When we got there Emily was there with a girlfriend, both dressed seductively in muddy garden shorts. “OK, where’s the chickens,” I say. Emily informs me that the chickens might get nervous and die of shock if we try to run one down and catch her, we should just wait til they go to roost.
“When will that be?”
“What’ll we do in the meantime?”
“Have some wine.”
I picked a comfortable lawn chair and commenced to wait while providing a feeding ground for every mosquito in the surrounding neighborhood. After a while Emily’s friend says “Is there anything else you’d like? Anything at all?” I jumped up and said “Yes, I’d like to see the garden.” “Help yourself,” she said. So I began to tour the garden on my own. It really was a nice garden. Tastefully done. After I had seen the entire back I took the gravel path around to the front. Meanwhile, all the chickens had gone to roost in a 30′ high Leyland Cypress. Tomboy Emily puts up a ladder and scrambles up it to get the particular chicken she wants. She thrusts into the tree, all the chickens start squawking at once, and Emily ..falls. Here it is near dark, slippery ladder, wine glass in one hand, chicken in the other and Emily comes crashing down. But never fear, Olen is here. Quick as a flash he steps in and catches Emily in his big old arms and saves her from no telling what. I’ll say this for Emily, she was still holding that chicken when Olen stood her up. We get Emily another glass of wine, put the chicken in a box, feed the last few mosquitoes, hop back in the truck and a half, wave goodbye, and zoom, we’re back home.
Just like that!
When I turn this new hen loose, BB makes a mad dash straight at her. She squawks and takes off. In the ensuing chase, I’d have to say if chickens could sue for sexual harassment this one would.
Now back to my Lottery story. I have before me a stack of catalogs: Forest Farm, Oregon Exotics, and more and I’m going hog wild ordering. I plan to hire Rodney Clemons and Harry Abel to bring in truck loads of boulders. These guys are geniuses at placement. I plan to put in a band of rocks around the back. I’m going to call it my Rock Band. Now that I’m rich I can afford to buy a bunch of Olen’s Oncology Garden raffle tickets. I’ll just become a checkbook gardener. I’ve also hired a person to stand in the front yard and wait for all the UPS trucks. Wake me when they’re here.
“Authors note: No actual dogs or cats were harmed in the creation of this article.”