The last house we lived in was a subdivision that had been portioned from a man’s farm. Our houses ran in a row with the man’s home, barn, and one pasture still attached. John, the owner, was a gruff older man with long white hair, beard, and overalls. He often yelled at the mule, Donk, as we called him. He let you know that he was farm strong and could back himself up in any skirmish.
Along with Donk, John often had other animals. For awhile he had some very fancy looking chickens. My birdfeeder was on a pole because my back yard did not have a tree. The chickens often came over to peck up the birdseed that fell from the feeder.
I was admiring them from inside my house one day when I noticed a neighbor boy was shooting at them with his BB gun. To say I was furious was an understatement. I bolted out of the house and asked the boy what the h*** he thought he was doing. The boy replied that he was just shooting at some stupid old chickens. I yelled alot of stuff that a grown person probably shouldn’t say to a child, but since he was wielding a weapon, I felt justified.
After my tirade, he said, “Gosh, Lady they aren’t even your chickens!”
“They are in MY yard! You can leave them alone!”
“I don’t have to so what you say, Lady!”
I was beyond myself by then. I was advancing across the yard and shouted, “OK. Those chickens are not my chickens. But do you know who they belong to? They belong to JOHN! How about me you and that BB gun go over and talk to John about you shooting at his chickens!”
At the mention of John’s name, the boy threw down the gun and ran into the house. Next thing I heard was the thud of the neighbor’s back door. I expected to see a parent emerge to yell at me for yelling at the child but no one appeared.
I didn’t realize my husband was watching the entire incident from our patio. As I walked by him, he said, “Gosh, Lady…” and before he could finish I cut him a look that put frost on the patio door.
We’d only been married a couple of years and he had not experienced this side of my personality. I think we both learned something about chickens and our marriage that day!