The stars peek curiously at us in the early darkness, the moon grins on the horizon.Who would have thought that I, an urbanite not 3 weeks ago, would be a part of a midnight chicken run."They're Hy-Line Brown" the man had said as I watched, captivated as the chicken catchers in their full body jump suits and loose plastic foot coverings put aside their cigarettes long enough to chase down 300 chickens. Now there's a job I didn't know existed.
The barn sits ready, the new hay and wood shavings still settling in the air from our earlier "interior decorating". It's a pretty swanky place for a chicken, several times the size of my tiny home on the farm (I could take this the wrong way, but instead, comfort myself in the fact that they will each have 299 flatmates).Soft clucking and an atmosphere of confusion permeate the air as we unload 30 crates into the barn, the chicken's heads poking out the sides like hopeful inmates.I open the first crate and shine my headlamp onto our newest residents. The chickens maintain their positions, side by each in the crate. I had hoped that they would all just, you know, get out when I opened the lid.
The next half hour consists of flying feathers (and chicken poo), squawking, scratching, and attempts to roost on my fingers, arms, and whatever is within claws reach. My visions of a Snow White-like relationship with the animals on the farm slowly melt away.
Finally, the crates lay empty and a quiet sense of relief passes over me (and the chickens) (and Jeremy (although he appears the least ruffled of all of us)).
Not the most bizarre Friday night of my life, but certainly up there.