One Hen AWOL in Oysterville

Apr 14, 2011 | 2 comments

Bad Hen! Bad Hen!

     Last Sunday just before dusk, Nyel put the hens in the coop for the night – all except the biggest, blackest, most beautiful of them all.  She was no place to be seen or heard.  We left for dinner at our neighbor’s and when we came home, even though it was pitchy dark outside, we went down to the coop to see if maybe, just maybe, she had come home.  No such luck.
     Once before we had an AWOL chicken, but she showed up by the gate to the chicken run before nightfall, eager to be let in to join her sisters.  And once I could only find six girls. I counted and re-counted and looked everywhere, or so I thought.  When I checked again a few hours later, all seven were there.  But not this time.
     We didn’t think a critter or an eagle had gotten her.  There hadn’t been any tell-tale squawks or a drift of feathers on the lawn.  We’ve had that problem in the past, too, when
Elmo-The-Naughty, a terrier from up the street, wiggled through our fence and snatched one of our beautiful leghorn roosters.  You can’t imagine such a-clucking and a-clacking!  And who knew that you could stuff several large pillow covers with the feathers from one chicken!  Anyway, we were pretty sure that hadn’t been the case this time, either.
     At dawn’s early light Monday, Nyel pulled on boots and raincoat and sloshed through the downpour to see if she had returned.  And sure enough, there she was huddled in the tall grass between the chicken run and the garden fence.  Wet, bedraggled, miserable looking, but THE most stubborn bird in Oysterville.
     She would not go into the run.  Not for scratch.  Not for food.  Not for love nor money nor anything else Nyel might have promised.  Finally, he let all the other girls out and gave them a chance to talk turkey (or rather, chicken) to their recalcitrant friend.  Later in the day they all returned to the coop when he called, including the biggest, blackest, baddest, most beautiful of them all.  Lesson learned?  Highly doubtful.    


  1. Nancy

    Loved the tale or more creatively stated, “The Cbicken Caper” or “Out of the Coop”…. . Thank you for a sweet ending to another delightful morning read.

  2. Stephanie Frieze

    Who says animals don’t have emotions. Clearly this hen had her tail feathers in a knot over something. Maybe the others had been cruel because the AWOL hen is so beautiful. Hmm.


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