True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lucy's Last Straw

Frigid winters are fine with Lucy.
(find Pigeon in this picture)
It's the snow that she can't stand. 
Lounging on one of the 2X4's that crisscross her snowy chicken-yard, Lucy soaks up the sun while her toes stay warm and dry.  

Because Lucy isn't very mobile, I check on her a couple of times a day, bringing fresh warm water and a few treats that I scatter around for all the ladies.   

From her perch Lucy stretches to reach those precious peas. 

And from her perch Lucy watches Daisy vacuum up every last one of them.
Lucy sits up calmly, utters a resigned "Oooh," and resumes her sunbathing. 

When she does choose to make a move, Lucy tends to stagger straight forward on her weak legs. Her turning mechanism isn't so good, and she can't shift into reverse at all.
Last summer when she got stuck between the watering can and the wall, Lucy had no choice but to wait there. Eventually I noticed that she was missing and after a brief chicken hunt I found her and set her free.

I checked the nest box, the dog house, I peered frantically into the forsythia and the rhododendron.
"Luuuucy", I called.

Lucy answered.

I guess that bin had been lying on its side and she happened to stumble headlong into it. I don't know how long she had been waiting in there. She squinted up at me, then stood and slowly hobbled away.

In every situation she gets into, Lucy is a model of patience and composure.

So this morning after our big snowstorm I was surprised to hear Lucy fussing furiously in the henhouse.

I thought I had done a pretty good job of plasticizing and weatherproofing the coop, but my handiwork was no match for the blizzard. 

I dug my way to the door and pried it open to find a couple of inches of snow inside the coop. 

Lucy was livid.

The other ladies had bravely trotted down the ramp to investigate their snow-laden coop, but Lucy refused to budge.  

I offered her a raisin, but she just sat there and ranted.  
It took six raisins to get her down the ramp. 
I tidied up the coop and dusted the snow off the perches, but Lucy just raved on.

I've never heard such profanities. 
I guess everyone has their breaking point, and the blizzard of 2013 was Lucy's.


  1. awwww...i'm so sorry, Lucy!!
    but at least you got some nice raisins out of the deal! Hang in there, sweet girl. That snow can't last forever!!

  2. Ohhh! I love this story!

  3. Oh! Darling Lucy.
    I cannot wait to share this
    with Maria, and her brothers.
    We love a good chicken story.
    Stay snug, and safe, all.

  4. Looking at Lucy's comb, I'm reminded to ask, have you noticed that their combs change size? Last year Alpha (my lead girl) had the largest fullest comb. Lowly (yes you guessed it) had a thin short comb. I assumed it had to do with the pecking order but that's not it. This year Lowly has the big comb and she has not gone up in standing, although they're being nicer to her. Alpha's comb is small and short and she's not being very aggressive except to me. I'm confused. Have you noticed anything about the combs?

  5. Awww, Lucy! I felt bad for laughing, but there's nothing like an indignant hen. <3

  6. As always another great story-thank you!
    Sandra Miller

  7. Oh my goodness, this just makes me laugh. :) Poor Lucy. Good to see she has a spot of spirit in there! ;D

  8. Priceless! Lucy is such a character. Our girls sure do know how to let you know when they are cross!

  9. Oh, poor Lucy. It's tough to get old. I'm wondering how she will like all the rain heading our way tomorrow.

  10. Her world is tainted! Poor Lucy, hope she calmed down enough to settle her feathers.

  11. Ah, there has always got to be one temperamental bitty in every gaggle. The one that keep you accountable.

  12. Of course you do write children's books??

  13. You are so funny! Lucy is blessed to have you as her Momma.

  14. Bless her heart! I'm not fond of cool feet either!

  15. awww...they are such characters and Lucy is no exception!

  16. Cute story with lovely images, as always. I think I would be upset too if the only way to get breakfast was standing in cold snow. Poor Lucy.

  17. I can't tell you how much I look forward to your stories. Your Lucie is my Maude and boy are they similar. Maude is my hesitant girl, my quiet one, my reserved one. So precious!

  18. Poor Lucy!

    Once, when we had some young birds, not fully grown, the father in law tossed a half a watermelon that had gone soft into the pen for the birds, which they loved. They'd stand on it, and eventually it flipped over from all the action.

    That evening we could no find Sheba, the half grown Polish Crested. We looked all over the coop and the pen. No Sheba. Finally the husband picked up the watermelon rind to get rid of it and there was Sheba, waiting quietly for release, her white top knot feathers stained red with watermelon juice.

  19. I concur with Lucy (regarding winter)@#%$&*!
    Found pigdy! (there has to be another of your great stories just waiting to be told about that lol)

    I continue to repeat, (mantra/insanity style):
    Ah, sweet spring, when the 'peas don't freeze'!

    A hug to you and Lucy....


  20. Lucy is precious. Love her "profanity", however, I must remark on her shining example of the "stink eye". It is amazing to me, how a hen doesn't need to say anything....just give you "the look!"

  21. She's a survivor and a role model for all!

  22. Awwww, Lucy! I can't believe she got stuck under a bin. Poor girl! It's so sweet how you take such good care of her. But of course we love our chickens, so we'd do anything for them!

  23. Lauren,
    Another great story.
    I look forward to meeting you in person "hint, hint" in the city where there are no bilzzards..

  24. This post made me a bit tears but ended with a giggle. So glad that you take extra good care of Lucy. Carers of the elderly and and those with special needs would be so heartened to read this tale.

  25. Oh, my gosh, I'm so glad "Our Neck of the Woods" led me here. Your stories and illustrations are really delightful. I can't wait to get my kindergarten grand on here. She's our artist and will love your drawing instructions as much as the stories.