How to make it in Chickenville

As you know, Chickenville is a hard place to live. As they say on a popular TV show, “one day you are in, and the next day, you are out.”

After the last restructuring, we were left with four chickens: Black Chicken, White Chicken, Twister, and Kiwi. Of those, Twister was the “pet” chicken; she was sweet, let the kids play with her, and even got to go to my kid’s school for “farm day”. Needless to say, even if she stopped laying, she would get to stay around forever.

Twister. Despite her name, she's the normal one. Lays like clockwork, an egg a day with a break on Sunday. She is a regular boring Rhode Island Red chicken.

Twister. The “nice chicken”.

The other three, well, they knew its “do or die”. And while Black and White were regularly producing their “egg-a-day keeps Natty and the sharp knife away”, Kiwi was slacking. She molted months ago, and still no green eggs were in sight. The only thing that was keeping her alive was being small, not really worth the trouble to cull her. Still, there was muttering heard about “getting a free pass around here”.

Kiwi. The "cool" Americauna. Likes to stare down dogs. Lays green eggs, but only when she feels like it.

You want me to lay green eggs? Well, look, there’s some green lettuce for you. Would that do?

A few weeks ago, Twister got sick and died quite suddenly. We were sad. The kid didn’t have a “petting” chicken. So after two days of “I waaaaaaaant tooooo peeeeeeeeet aaaaaaa chiiiiiiiiiickeeeeeeeeeen”, I gave up, went into the chicken pen and caught one least likely to cause me bodily harm. Given that Black Chicken tried to kill me every time I get near her, and White Chicken can run faster than the Roadrunner, that left Kiwi.

And what do you know, she settled right in my lap and endured all sorts of rough handling by the three year old. Yeah, guess who gets to stay around forever, eggs or no eggs!

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You let me into the house! I never have to lay another egg again!

Fifty Shades of Garden

Something was drawing her, irresistibly, to the edge of the garden.  As if she were pulled by invisible bonds, Alchemist and Chickenkeeper Natty felt compelled to search — to explore — to test the edges of her gardening.

It was there, calling her.  The plant she had overlooked in the past.  Hesitantly, biting her lip, she extended her shaking hand and plunged it into the bush. What was there — hidden, unknown until now — rocked her to her very core.

Cucumer

Nothing would ever be the same.

Across the bustling city, the Accidental Alchemist somehow felt the same call, as if the two were horticulturally communicating in some deep, dirty way.  Unafraid, inspired by the deep throbbing of vegetation from the backyard fence, she responded.  Big Fred, the Passionflower, was waiting for her.  And he knew exactly what she needed.

Passiflora edulis

The silent command came, as she knew it would.  Taste me.

We have to go now.