This week, our family had the privilege of taking care of our friends’ chickens while they were out of town. Let me clarify. Our friends were out of town, not the chickens. The chickens stayed home and our friends went out of town and we were in charge of the chickens. We got to do “chicken chores”, which, by the way, is a really fun phrase to say.
This was a great arrangement for us as we are actually considering getting ourselves some chickens next spring. We thought this would be great practice for our boys. We were right – it was great for them. We fed, watered, set them “free” each morning, closed them up to roost each night and the most fun part of all – we gathered eggs.
Our younger boys were even delighted to get up early to go do the morning chicken chores. I think they felt manly and “farmish”. In fact, Malachi, our six year old, insisted on putting on his full cowboy gear before we headed over to care for the chickens twice each day. Even early in the morning, he stumbled into his bandanna and boots.
I didn’t have the heart to tell him that cowboys mostly take care of cows. Nor did I tell him that he’d really not have use for his rope. Nor did I tell him that he wouldn’t really need his holster and pistol.
I also decided not to tell him that I wouldn’t need a cowboy hat.
He insisted that I wear the thing. It mattered not that my head was too big. It mattered not that I got strange looks as I drove all the way to the chickens and back home again. The plastic pistol I carried in my own pocket got a little bit uncomfortable, but no matter.
Thankfully, the chickens were not unruly and we did not have to lasso a one of them.
But it never hurts to be prepared.