Animal Algebra

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I probably just used algebra in real life. I don’t know for sure how that feels, but it was vaguely the feeling I got in school staring numbly at the chalkboard and trying to make sense of the equation. Chicken World was experiencing urgent issues, and I had to leap to the fore. Two sensitive chickens, one injured chicken, one dead chicken, four specific roosters that needed to be moved, a dog with a hurt and bleeding dewclaw, and two hungry kittens, the kitten food in the van and gone. All my algebra teachers would be proud, and that was the first time.

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The Assistant.

13697303_10209858082433909_98446135712422901_nHe’s got a blister on his foot the size of a damn nickel!  To date, there is nothing the boy and I can do in the chicken yard that doesn’t result in a foot or leg doodeloo involving shoe removal along with mud, a splinter, pewp (as he calls it), a rock, water, and an old person bending over, sweating, and straining to see the disaster.

It works out because I, a) expect it, and b) am never prepared. My little assistant comes with his baggage. Yesterday he was Johnny-on-the-spot to help us hook up a trailer, (“get back in the truck”, “go stand in the shade”, “don’t touch that”……”BUT I WANT TO DO IT!) and take a horse to the Amish farrier, where he (the kid, not the horse), was an absolute dream of a gentleman, and he (the horse, not the kid), had a fence clip stuck in his foot, and, considering all, was very well behaved.

This week, we FARMED it. The Silkie chickens were moved to a safer, bigger pen; the 7 roosters we don’t need were relocated to the horse barn, where they stayed for 2 days and promptly brought themselves back to the chicken yard; our little pygmy goats are about ready to breed, which may bring us some babies in early January. We spent most of our time pitchforking and replacing water, then dashing back into the air conditioning and complaining about the heat.

Putterboo Farm rumbled along this week. Without our assistant, I’m actually not quite sure where we would be. He provides the comedy, the inspiration, the exhaustion and a lot of the love. I’ll have to remember that the next time he stands dutifully spraying water everywhere BUT in a bucket for the animals, although, if he wanted to, he could spray that hose water between the tiny branches at the top of a tree at 150 feet.