The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm: A Saga Of Princess Pullet

I’m happy to present the second post from guest contributor Deanna D. She’s a fellow Canadian that lives just a hop, skip and a jump from me on Vancouver Island. And true to form, she has mined the rich vein of the sh*t that chickens get themselves into to come up with a tale that will make you laugh. We Canadians are known for being polite, when really our sensibility and sense of humour is grossly overlooked.

We have an eleven-week-old pullet who has injured her leg, so we’ve ensconced her in our big birdcage in the house to ensure she rests and doesn’t get trampled by her rambunctious sisters. I take her out for supervised visits and gentle exercise and if my partner, Bruce, can’t be at her side (at his desk) we have found hours of chicken sounds on YouTube so she doesn’t feel too lonely. She’s gotten quite good at balancing and hopping around on one leg. She’s not yet willing to put weight on the other but she’s been stretching it out so we take that as a good sign.

This preamble is just for context when I tell you this chick loves Bruce. Loves him. She cries if she can’t hear or see him. She sings when he comes back. She scolds him if he has the light on and she wants to sleep. I mean, she thinks I’m ok, but I am no substitute.

If this keeps up I’m going to come home from work one of these days and the chick will have dumped all my stuff on the front steps and changed the locks.

The injured chick has decided that it’s okay to spend the evening lying on my chest, listening to 80s metal. She would much rather be sitting in Bruce’s lap, but I’ve been made aware that I’m an acceptable Emotional Support Human if her preferred option is unavailable. Over the course of the evening she will slowly work her way up until she is cuddled against my neck, with her beak gently resting on my chin or cheek.

So what I’m saying here is that when I die of bird flu, it’s all part of her cunning plan to get Bruce to herself. Just FYI.

The injured chick has no interest in cuddling on the couch today. It took some time to communicate it to me in way I could understand, but what she really wants is to perch on my shoulder. My sole function tonight is to stand in the kitchen without moving so that she can watch Bruce make dinner. When I did not comply fast enough, she reminded me that she could end my existence at any time – by slashing my face with her claws.

She claimed that it hurt her more than it hurt me, and if I would just follow simple directions she wouldn’t have to discipline me.

But you and I know what she really wants.

It’s well past time for an injured chicken update, but that’s because there’s mostly been a lot of the same: much Bruce love and serious attempts to dominate Deanna. Which honestly speaks to the fact that she is both immensely spoiled and has an enormous set of ovaries, given that she is willing to take on someone 50 times her size who can squash her like a bug.

Anyway, she still cries piteously when Bruce puts her to bed at night, but recently her voice has started to change. So instead of woeful wails that break your heart, her crying now sounds like a honking goose. Which is hilarious, but laughing at her makes her madder, so she cries harder, which makes us laugh more. In her rage she has started to rake the claws of her injured foot against the bars of the cage, like any inmate sliding a metal cup along their cell bars and shouting “Let me out, you lousy screws!” Bruce gives her a full time out (blacks out the cage with a blanket) when she does that as he worries she’ll further injure herself.

Some good news: we’ve new signs that the leg is getting better. We’ve seen her put a little weight on the injured leg, mostly when climbing easy slopes. The easy slope being me slouched on the couch or the bed as she hop-limps her way up my torso so that she can peck my face. As it gives me a chance to examine her walk at close quarters, I let her do it, with the caveat that I keep putting her back down in my lap so that she can climb me like a jungle gym all over again.

When I tire of being pecked, I get my revenge by holding her in my lap and stroking her while singing her ‘favourite’ song:

Petting your feathers
Petting your feathers
Petting your feathers
Oh what’s a chick to do?
Petting your feathers
Petting your feathers
I don’t care if you don’t like it
I’m still petting you!

She responds by pooping on me, so I’m calling it a draw.

I’m pleased to announce that diplomatic relations between injured chicken and I have tentatively reached a new accord. In return for her no longer pecking at my face, I am to stop petting her and singing – and henceforth to refer to her as either Her Highness or Princess. I am also not supposed to interfere with her brunches with Bruce (she gets a share of whatever he cooks) but I’m afraid I have reneged on that side of things at least twice already. What can I say; I’m clearly the villain of this piece.

She is beginning to use her leg more and can be seen limping (i.e. walking on the injured leg) instead of just hopping (i.e. only using the strong leg).

I regret to inform you that Her Royal Highness, Princess Injured Chicken, is in violation of our sworn treaty. Or so I attest.

You see, while Her Highness is indeed following the LETTER of the law in that she is no longer pecking my face, I contend that she has broken the SPIRIT of the law by focusing her extremely sharp pecking attentions on my right boob. Not to mention the nipple.

Her Highness, on the other hand, swears that the letter of the law is the only matter that can be legally upheld, and besides, aren’t I in dereliction of my duty to ensure her Bruce Brunches? Not so, argue I. While I am bound to not interfere, I am in no way responsible for ensuring that the Brunches take place and should Bruce choose not to serve them in The Teen Coop – where the Princess spends her days – well, that’s not my business.

The Princess wishes to sue me for breach of fiduciary duty, though I’m holding out for International Court so that I have some hope of a fair trial, given that Her Highness is Highest Legal Authority in her own Domain. She considers me Subject; I deny her dominion over me. It’s a sore point of contention.

Anyway, I’ll be setting up a Go Fund Me because us peons just don’t have the same access to high-powered lawyers that Princesses do.

I appreciate your future support.

Well my friends, I have hope that the Saga of the Injured Princess has come to a close. Tonight she spends her first night in many weeks in the coop with her sisters.

She was not impressed when I let her know she would be sleeping with the plebian chickens tonight. She took a bit of convincing to settle on a roost. But while she still has a limp, she is putting quite a lot of weight on the injured leg, she takes no shit from the other girls her age, she jumps up onto and down from some good sized stumps, and I was getting a little tired of having to deal with her dominance games every evening. She was definitely ready for a return and so was I. (And after this morning when she woke Bruce up at 5:45 am because I hadn’t taken her outside yet, I think Bruce was ready for her to spend her nights in the coop as well.)

I fully expect that the next time the girls are let out to free range, she will beeline for the front door of the house and try to figure out how to open the door.

Finally my house will be free of feathers and chicken poop again!

Deanna D is a former northern farm girl who aged out of girlhood and moved to North Saanich, British Columbia (Canada). She has returned to keeping chickens for the last 10+ years because she can’t convince her partner to let her have a milk cow. Her long-suffering neighbours are aware that she has more chickens than she is technically allowed to, but for now keep it to themselves in exchange for eggs. Speaks several dialects of chicken, will translate on request.

Many thanks to Deanna for sharing her story, used with permission.

4 comments on “The Funny Farm: A Saga Of Princess Pullet

  1. Maria King

    Thank you for this lovely update, I can so identify with your story! I have had so many similar things go on in my own home. It’s really good to read of your princess’ successful return to the coop. Thanks again, M.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. mrscraib

    Loved this essay!

    And is that an AI picture at the top?? I have been using NightCafe Studio all winter , playing with different chicken themed text prompts. I have had so much fun! Just the other day I tried to get it to put a crown on a hen and came up with a wild assortment. Finally it delivered one that had a Mother Nature crown. My favs are the silly ones:

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Marjorie Little

    Hilarious. Once I stop laughing and start rethinking posts like these, I am amazed! Again and again. The commitment, kindness, hard work and love that is behind these stories is really inspirational. Plus, you have a gift for entertainment with your writing. I salute you and ask you to keep sharing. ml

    Liked by 1 person

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