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by Shawn Underwood

I’m usually up for a new adventures. Like say— Chickens.

As Mr. Big, Mr. Small and I enjoyed our morning walkies the other morning, I spied a particularly intriguing structure. As is my way. I asked my dogs about it.

“What do we have here Big?”

Of course Mr. Big can’t hear me because he is deaf, but he is always interested in sniffing new scents, while Mr. Small is solely interested in tugging on his leash in pursuit of a taunting squirrel or unwise cat.

Parallel parked along 172nd is a shabby chic shack. Possibly a miniature house for firewood storage or maybe an upscale dog pen. I just wasn’t sure, but I liked the look of it, and Big and Small most certainly liked the smell of it. I soon realized why my dogs yanked and tugged on their leashes.

At first I could only hear a low clucking but as we inched closer to the enclosure, the inhabitants perked up quite a bit. No firewood or divine doggy-digs, only— chickens. The tenants of the chicken roost placidly looked at us, not at all disturbed by our presence—it was almost as if they expected us.

Chick or Treat
The Halloween Roost

Three or four hens precisely perched at their wire mesh window clucked and cocked their pretty heads at us.  A most happy-looking flock and indeed they have a good thing going. Not only is their coop festooned with Halloween decor, they have free room and board, a splendid view and no rooster in site. Not that I have anything against roosters but an early morning wake-up crow from ones spouse would get annoying. But back to the point of my story—new adventures.

Initially I hoped the hen house would be for sale or better yet FREE. I’m always seeing ‘Free—you haul’ signs on the side of the road. Alas there’s no sign and the hens seem quite happy in their current location. Mr. Big and Mr. Small look at the hens and then back at me. It’s settled then, they need some new friends and I really want some chickens and better yet, fresh eggs everyday.  So I emailed my sister—a wanna-be farm girl.

“Get some chickens, it’s really fun to take care of them and they aren’t as stupid as everyone says.”

I’m nearly convinced and Tom is out of town. He’ll never even notice if I set up a sweet little coop in the side-yard—previously the puppies yard, but they wont’ mind. I hope they aren’t chicken killers like my sisters last dog. That wouldn’t be good. At the time my sister didn’t have chickens but her neighbor did and well, things didn’t go well from there.

Later that evening as Leslie and I gobbled down—dare I say it—chicken for dinner. I pondered the chicken idea. What would I do if my chickens didn’t like their home and worse yet, refused to lay eggs in protest? I would have to either give the chickens away and post my own sign;  ‘free chickens’ or let them take their chances as raccoon bait I mean,  ‘free range chickens.’

I’m still pondering, perhaps I’ll wait until chickens are in-season or at least until I can find a darling shack.

Twenty-five years of living in Burien gives Humorist Shawn Underwood much fodder for her writings.

All of her stories are true, or at least have a grain of truth with no added embellishments.

Or something like that.

And have you bought her new book “Mommy Are We French Yet?” yet? Buy it here.

Read more of her humor at her website here.

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