The Poultry Princess

The Poultry Princess: Born For Chaos

This is the 15th installment in a series of humorous stories about chicken keeping from guest contributor, Heide Royer.


Some people are born with talent. Some people are born with good looks. Some people say that I have both. I say I was born for fu**ing chaos.

It would be so nice to roll out of bed, stretch out my arms, do the Disney Princess sleepy yawn, hear cute birdies and newly awakened crickets chirping in the distance, ready to bring on whatever the glorious day has to offer me. Sleeping Beauty, right?

No.  Big loud no.

“Mom, the Cemani is missing.”

“What do you mean the Cemani is missing?”

“Last night when I went to put the birds up, the Cemani got scared and ran off into the trees.”

“Those trees?!”, pointing to the twenty wild acres behind the house.

“Yes, and I couldn’t find him.”

“And you’re JUST NOW TELLING ME THIS CHILD???”

“I’m sorry, I tried to go look for him, but it got dark and I couldn’t see anymore.”

True statement. The Ayam Cemani is one of the rarest breeds of chickens from Indonesia. They have a dominant gene that causes hyperpigmentation, making the chicken mostly black, including feathers, beak, and internal organs. They are also very expensive for show quality. I may or may not have pawned my best red heels to acquire them and I only have two. Out of 80+ chickens, I have two Cemani roosters, Mani and Pedi. Losing one is like losing the insert to a side of your miracle bra and now you’ve become the uniboober. Devastating.

Like a good parent, I immediately popped on the four-wheeler and went looking for a black needle in a coal haystack. My son has autism, so he feels deeper than an average fifteen year old. When we lose an animal out here it takes him days to recover, even losing the tiniest of creatures can send him into a tailspin. The loss is so hard for his atypical brain, he doesn’t understand why or how these things happen, but this time he felt it was his fault, so the pain went to his core.

My pain was telling him that the bird was gone. There was no way it could have survived out here overnight in the wild. We are surrounded by nothing but unforgiving wilderness and every predator imaginable for a chicken. His only chance was that he was fast, and he was completely black, giving him a better chance of blending into the night. I knew he was toasted coyote poop, but I couldn’t say that. All I said was that he was out there living his best life and that he chose to be one with nature and probably found some wild hens to live his life with.

Tears. Sadness. Bedroom door slamming shut. More tears.

Every once in awhile he would come out asking me if the chicken had returned, and I would have to break his heart all over again.

I must have taken that four-wheeler out eight times that day looking for him. Calling for him like a ewe looking for her lost lamb. Things like,

“I’m going to kill ewe if I find ewe for making me do this sh*t.”

“Ewe, better pop your a** up quickly little chicken for putting my boy through this. Got me out here looking crazy in my Christmas PJs” Crazier than normal that is.

No luck. Apparently threatening a chicken doesn’t have much clout out here. They give no clucks at all.

That evening, I was putting the chickens to bed and had just put away the last one when I decided to go have a beer on the back patio with Travis and start the unwinding process.

I was explaining to him the day’s events when I heard a slight sound.

“Bawwwwwwk.”

I stopped mid-sentence and looked past Travis’s shoulder. I knew all the birds were up because I had just done it and there was that feathery bastard on the other side of the fence. I heard the sound again.

“Travis!” There’s the chicken!”

Well Travis didn’t know that the chicken being called into conversation was the chicken, so he casually was like,

“Ok.”

“We have to get him, NOW!”

I don’t think he really understood the importance of what was happening much less how he actually survived 24 hours without being munched on or damaged. The most important thing was my boy’s broken heart would be instantly cured. The pressure was on: I absolutely cannot let this chicken escape again.

I screamed for Travis to go around to the other side of the fence while I ran the opposite way so we could pull off a good ole military style flanking with this bird.

I don’t run people. I’m a big chested girl. Running for me looks like two watermelons being thrown down a hilly street in San Francisco that’s laden with speed bumps and small children playing basketball. It is not glorious. Plus, I wasn’t wearing appropriate attire for said event.

So, in order for me to get to my destination, I crossed my arms crisscross style over my chest and ran to the backside of the house.

Once I had eyes on him and saw Travis, we inched closer and closer, foot-by-foot, for what seemed an agonizing five minutes. I knew this chicken was fast. I knew I wasn’t. If he took off again, there would be no hope at all, and that would be hard to live with.

Finally, I got within arms reach. Pedi just kept racing up and down the fence line over and over, nervous about our presence, making all kinds of noises to try and ward us off. He was scared, but not more than I was.

I had two arms outstretched like I was fending off vicious velociraptors and quietly spoke to him.

“It’s ok buddy, I’m not going to hurt you. I might eat you, you fu**er, but I’m not going to hurt you…come here bud. You’re alright, you’re alright.”

And then he darted between Travis and I.

Sh*t.

In that split second I had a choice to make. Let the chicken go or make one last attempt to capture him. Capture it was.

I literally flung my body over his like I was wrangling an escaped calf, scratching and clawing at him, feathers flying everywhere. I think I passed some gas while this was happening because I heard sounds I’m not too proud of, and in the best freaking linebacker move ever, I grabbed his leg and pulled him towards me, tripping him up and preventing him from getting to the goal line.

I got you.

Travis and I celebrated loudly and would have chest bumped if one, I weren’t carrying a prized chicken and two, I wasn’t in pain from the impromptu sprint I was just put through.

I walked straight to my son’s room, knocked on the door and watched him open it up, all the while his eyes lighting up slowly like Christmas Day.

“Is that the Cemani?!”

“Yes baby, that’s the Cemani.”

He went outside to look and see if I didn’t do a switcheroo with the other Cemani rooster and came back smiling from ear to ear. I guess he remembered “Turtlegate” back in fifth grade and nothing was going to fool him now.

“Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome, baby.”

That’s what Chickmas is all about Charlie Brown.

Plus sports bra awareness. Tether your ladies, gals. You never know what’s coming for you.


Heide Royer is the artist behind Heidinmyworld of Art. Her creative passion lies within the animal world and is expressed through her visually compelling artwork. She is also an aspiring writer telling stories of her chicken farm life in a new book entitled “All Cooped Up – My Life with Chickens During A Pandemic”, filled with crazy antics and a lot of fowl play. It’s sure to bring laughter to any poultry loving household.

Thanks again to Heide for sharing her story and photos, used with permission.

2 comments on “The Poultry Princess: Born For Chaos

  1. All’s well ends well. I’m so glad everything turned out!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love her stories!

    Liked by 1 person

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