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March 1, 2012

The Most Re-DUCK-ulous Thing To Happen Yet

Friends, you know that I only ever tell you The Truth About Farming. But I can scarcely believe this tall tale and I was standing right there watching it. I swear I am not making this up.  This is the most re-duck-ulous thing that has happened yet.

So Kai let me know that there was some malfeasance going on down at the pond so I pulled on my muck boots, grabbed my beatin' stick, and me and Dog#1 headed down to see what was going on. What had happened was that one of the younger roosters, who by his actions just volunteered to be first on rooster day, had taken a gaggle of hens down by the pond.

That's right... down there by Fox Central. Me and the dog picked up speed as the hens saw us closing in on them - a couple of clicks from me and some hand signals and Dog#1 had gone around and sent most of them hens high tailin' it up the hill to the safety of the goat yard. All but one very silly little hen who ran the wrong way and down into the valley.

"Get down there and get that hen, Titan!" I shouted and pointed to my right hand man and off he went. I heard the flapping and squawking as she ran thru the underbrush to get up the hill, suddenly alighted....and flew...then crash landed in the pond.

In the pond!

Me and Titan, fearing the worst, both took a sharp breath in...and.....and.... she floated. Like a duck. For whatever reason, the only thing I could think of at that moment was, "Obviously that chicken was a witch."  Me and the dog stood there blinking in disbelief.

"For heavens sakes." Said the dog.

"Yeah I know." I replied and then we headed toward the closest point on the shore to the still floating chicken. She was just kinda toolin' around out there and had started to drift towards us. I figured that would be about the end of it and I could just fish her out of the pond. But then she started floating out to sea again.

I determined I should bust out my best Baywatch lifeguard skills and so I stepped out into the pond - and promptly sank into muck boot deep mud and stuff. Ick.

As you know, I'm good in a crisis. I am also extremely experienced in the water. My mother felt strongly that we should all know how to swim at a young age. So I was the kid that was always on swim team, always was at the pool (unsupervised back in the day), and I was even in synchronized swimming. Most of my vacations back in my Big Life revolved around the water. Heck I can free dive to at least 50 feet if not better.  So I am not afraid of the water. Well. I'm not afraid of the ocean.

Farm pond water? That is another matter entirely.

Who knows WHAT is in that water. I know for a fact there are snakes in that pond, and all manner of hoppin' things, not to mention some catfish, and there was rumor of Ol' Snappy - a legendarily large snapping turtle known to kill anything that ventured out too far into that murky gloom.  So for many reasons I steadfastly refuse to get into pond or lake water. And there I was feeling my boot filling with water and on the horns of a dilemma.

The decision making logic went a little like this...

"Oh NO! I gotta resuce that poor little chicken!"

"Hell no, I am NOT getting in that water."

"It was kind of her fault for flying into the pond.....attrition happens...and she is just chicken # 24."

"Oh crap... that's the hen that I promised to someone...."

As I stood there, boot now full of water, pulled between duty and disgust I heard the urgent whining of my best battle dog dying to let me put him in the game.

"Please, please, please please???" The big dog looked at me with hopeful eyes. The fact is, he's good in the water for sure. But just as I was deciding that it probably wouldn't be so bad if I sent a 100+ pound not-retriever into the water to get a freaked out chicken...the damnest thing happened.

That chicken turned and swam across the pond.

I mean to tell you she paddled her little feet and glided across the pond like a swan. When she reached the other side she hopped out, shook herself off, and trotted up the hill.

Me and the dog stood there slack jawed and buggy eyed.

"For heavens sakes." Said the dog.

"Yeah I know." I replied and then we headed around the pond to follow this little duck-chicken-witch-swan up the hill. She ran into the hen house like nothing unusual had just happened.

Standing there watching her toddle away I realized the best part about this whole thing.....

That little hen was one of my SALMON Faverolles!  No wonder she could swim! Apparently "salmon" doesn't just mean her coloring and that weird little extra toe must be for swimming.

So there you have it. I may reevaluate giving that little hen away - you never know, I may have stumbled upon a real money maker - Ohio's Famous Swimmin' Chickens.

Friends, I tell you the truth, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Happy Thursday everybody, and get your order in now for one of these famous swimmin' chickens!