It's not exactly dignified, but it works.
There's still a lot of storm damage to deal with around the farm, but we definitely made some progress yesterday. The large chunk of barn roof that blew off has been nailed back down, the top of the chimney is no longer laying on the lawn, a fair amount of the 2006 onion crop that had been drying out in the greenhouse was re-dried and salvaged, and, most importantly, Lindy The Chicken is back at home with Whitey.
Yesterday morning I crouched down on the ground in the yard, aimed a giant spotlight under The Shack, and spotted Lindy—about 15 feet in, totally unreachable, but blinking her beady little eyes. Alive!
I checked on her throughout the day, and the only thing she appeared to move was her head, but she looked okay, and I didn't think the dogs could fit under that particular section of the house. I racked my brain to figure out a way to rescue her, but Joe (who has much more chicken catching experience than I do) said we would just have to wait until she came out on her own. I was doubtful.
But around 8 o'clock last night, I got back down on the ground, aimed my spotlight under The Shack, and didn't see a chicken. I circled around The Shack, crouching and looking in various spots, and still I couldn't find her. I walked back into the house, announced that she was gone, and then practically scared Joe to death as I glanced out the window and shrieked, "THERE SHE IS! SHE'S ON THE DRIVEWAY!"
He grabbed the fishing/chicken-catching net, I grabbed my camera, and we quietly sneaked outside so as not to alert the dogs. There she was, ambling down the road as only a chicken can amble, paying no attention to all of the sheep milling about her.
Our view was mainly blocked by the giant fallen tree in front of the yard, so Joe went one way, and I went the other, tiptoeing gingerly through the tall grass in totally inappropriate shoes and not nearly enough protective clothing.
A few scuffles, some muffled laughter later (there is nothing quite as amusing to me as the sight of a chicken who is jogging), and then whap! she was in the net. Joe scooped her up while I fumbled with the camera and tried not to trip over the rocks in the creekbed. I slip-slided after the two of them, Joe hurrying as fast as he could toward the coop, Lindy swinging in the net beside him, and me yelling "Stop! Stop! I can't get a good picture!"
But they didn't slow down. Not until Joe had Lindy safely back in her henhouse did he turn to me and calmly explain, "I've had them escape from the net before. No way was I going to stop."
Lindy the Chicken, back where she belongs.
Phew. What a relief. As we walked back to the house I said, "I'm sure Whitey is happier now, too. Poor thing, when I caught her up this morning she looked so pitiful, soaking wet and muddy and missing all those feathers. She wouldn't even come out of the coop when I checked on her later. It was awful."
"Oh no," said Joe. "She came out. Dan went over to see how she was doing. He munched on some weeds around her run so they'd have better airflow, and she popped out and said 'hello.'"
"Are you making this up?"
"No! It was a Kodak moment. You missed it."
I can only imagine what else I miss around here—because half of the stuff I do see is pretty unbelievable.
Thanks so much for all of your kind words and bolstering comments. I'm just happy that Lindy and Whitey are safe. It's bad enough if a dog gets any chicken. It's something else entirely when that chicken has friends and fans around the world.
So now that you've been updated, baby Cary and I need to leave the comfort of our tiny air-conditioned office and head out into the oppressive heat (looks like it's going to be another record breaker like yesterday) to help restore my poor blown apart greenhouse to its previous splendor, supervise some serious chainsawing work, and prepare for tonight's storm that's supposed to hit.
Meanwhile, 470,000 homes in the greater St. Louis area are still without power from the same storm that hit our farm Wednesday night. I knew it could have been a lot worse.
Want to read a little more about life on the farm?