Yesterday was my Dad's birthday. No I won't tell you his age...but he's quite a bit older than I am. I bought him a very special present. A hen I named Phil. Did I mention Dad's name is Phil, too? Mom has this game she plays every year where she supposedly gets a year younger as my youngest sister gets a year older all in the name of having delivered Erin on her birthday. I don't think it actually works that way, but we'll consider this hen Phil/Dad Phil an experiment.
This is how it all started... Last Saturday at the Chillicothe Farmers Market Little Yoder was there. He told me he had chickens for sale. I'm a sucker when it comes to kids selling things. That's how I ended up having a boat load of begonia flowers one year when I taught first grade and there was this big begonia fundraiser. I swear ever child came to my door and every child left with a begonia order. Anyway, I asked Little Yoder what kind he was selling and he said, "Bannies." I said, "What kind of bannies?" To which he answered, "Regular 'ole bannies." Now I'm a raiser and lover of poultry. I'm also a raiser of heritage breed poultry. I've never had myself a regular 'ole bannie so I rose the occasion.
All week I hid my secret of getting another chicken from the family. It just happened where I dropped the Kid off at 4H camp yesterday was right near Yoder's Greenhouse, which is clear on the other side of the county from me. I told Little Yoder I'd stop by, and as far as I'm concerned a person's word is gold and it's got to be something pretty major to not uphold my word. When I got to Yoder's, L.Y. came out and greeted me. Then we got down to poultry business. I told him up front, "No roosters. Hon will faint if I bring home a regular 'ole bannie rooster." Mr. Yoder yelled out the window to L.Y. to show me some puppies, too, which I politely yelled back, "No puppies either!"
Little Yoder took me to the barn where he has a bounty of bannies. He picked up a black one, gave it to me, and then I saw a brown one I liked so I set the black one down. Then he and I ran around like idiots trying to catch the brown one and it just wasn't happening. Then I said whatever one gets picked up is the one that will go home with me. It was that same little black one. So that sealed the deal. I'm not sure which one was smarter - the brown one not to get caught or the black one that got caught twice. After money and hen exchanged hands I was shown the puppies. I knew it! There was probably a plan hatched to show me those puppies before I even got there. My only saving grace was they were only about a week old and still had their eyes closed. WHEW! You thought I took one home, didn't you?!
Next up I was shown kittens, which I was able to say, "No kittens, thank you," to. Then there were regular size horses and a miniature horse. All very cool and obviously well cared for. Little Yoder told me about his family planting Chrysanthemums earlier in the day and that he had enjoyed a glass of lemonade right before I got there. (Oh, and yes, I looked up how to spell Chrysanthemum correctly before posting this).
On the way home I knew I had to come up with a story about this chicken. I figure I have until tonight, tomorrow morning at the latest, before Hon sees it and wonders what I've been up to. Here it is... Dad's birthday was yesterday. I bought the hen yesterday. He lives in a subdivision in Arizona where they can't even hang up a bird feeder. Here we can hang bird feeders and whatever else. I bought this regular 'ole bannie hen for Dad, named him Phil for an aging experiment, and will keep her here since he can't take her to Arizona. There! Seems like a plausable story to me. And yes, Dad already knows about this.
So there you have it, folks...my, errr, my Dad's new hen...Phil! Smiling & Waving, Sharon
I'm the queen of our farm, although the animals haven't figured that out yet. My title is Head Chicken Wrangler, but most days I'm called Mom. Life is a comedy and I plan on documenting it.