Two of my most trusted, most bragged upon com padres let me down today.  Nearly simultaneously, no less!

It was a good day.  No tantrums, well-behaved play, fun math lessons, a more-or-less happy youngest child, and a husband who let the kids follow him around all morning (which he will undoubtedly pay for by the time his over-night shift ends in the morning) and sparing me their affections.

I had two bathed and one to go.  These are LOOOONG overdue baths.  I blame sprinkler use on my lethargy towards their hygiene.  However, there are some things you just don’t do and taking your children to church with legs that are more black than tan is one of them.

Snowball comes up to the barn which is the event we’ve Taking off for the barn, I tell them to play downstairs and ask my oldest son to close the door to the ‘gray area’ which contains among other things, the ironing board, sewing machines, sump pump reservoirs and our refrigerator.

He promptly obeys.  Ah… the trustworthy eldest son.  The sweet following younger ones.

I go outside to find the ducks gathered around Tidus’ water dish.  This is a new and annoying habit they’ve picked up… see… they like to PLAY in it.  This makes the water muddy and unpalatable.  This makes my dog cranky.  I think to myself, as I pass, I should really fix that or we’re going to have issues.

In the meantime, look at my angel dog.  He’s so awesome.  House pet to Livestock Guardian in no time.  Amazing!

I continue on my way.  Turn the calves in.  Watch Chuck freak out when part of his duct tape hat comes off and flaps which causes him to forget all about eating (A first) and run madly about the barn in an effort to shake the "UFO" fluttering above his right eye.  Rip that sucker off and let him go back to nursing.

Then hear my children yelling.  Not the "I had it, no me, I did, my turn" kind of yelling that you’d expect from tired children but the urgent "Asa just fell down 8 flights of stairs and Lithany’s trapped in the washing machine!!" kind of yelling.  This kind of yelling actually gets my immediate attention, no matter how much Chuck is being abused by Snowball who is… again… refusing him access to her white wealth.

I run out of the barn on full alert.  I see nothing.  Or rather, I see three perfectly healthy children, two at the door, and one down in the yard behind the propane tank yelling for me. 

"What??  What’s wrong??!!"

"It’s Tidus!"

(Tidus?? What could be wrong with Tidus?)

"What’s the matter?!"

"He’s… he’s.. he’s… got a chicken!"

As I approach, I see that my faithful companion, does… indeed… have a chicken.  One of our Rhode Island reds.  In his mouth.  It’s not moving.  There is another lying in the grass where my son was standing… it also is not moving.

Not happy.  Scold him soundly, bop him several times with the deceased, send him in shame up to the deck, tie him up.  Notice that my youngest has somehow found a yogurt drink bottle and is pretending to drink from it… how cute.

On my way to the barrel, I take a closer look at the prey… both hens.  I yell back over my shoulder "You could have at least gotten the roosters!!!"

Notice two men taking a break in the machine shed across our pasture.  They appear to be watching us… and who wouldn’t really??? An 8 month pregnant person charging furiously after a huge wolf-like dog and beating him with a dead chicken while in bright blue shorts (they’re elastic and comfy and clean, okay??) and a bright red shirt (it’s clean, okay?) with muck boots covering up only part of her startlingly white legs (It’s spring, okay?), which, by the way, the blue shorts don’t cover enough of for my comfort!  {Farm life/chores + limited Pregnancy wardrobe that I’m not willing to enhance this far into it = random clothing combinations}

This is not good.  See, once a dog kills an animal, they are pretty much locked on target.  Fortunately, our dog is amazing and will learn from this episode that he cannot kill our poultry with our blessing (or not… since he took off for the barn to find another one as soon as I let him loose).  Fortunately, I’ve learned from this episode and moved his water dish to the deck.   Hopefully, this helps solve the problem without drastic measures.

If he kills another one, our choices are to go with the old standby cure "tie the carcass tight to his neck and leave it there until it rots off" -not my preference, I might add… or "tie the dog for the rest of his life – rendering our new invisible fence and his guardian powers completely useless"… or "Have the dog on a leash at all times unless he’s under observation when the poultry is out.".  I did let him off a minute ago, after I closed their pen for the night.

On the other hand, I wonder if we could use him to dispatch our broilers before we cure him.  It would be much easier than catching them ourselves… and he is very efficient, apparently.

Then I return to the house.

That yogurt bottle?? Not empty.  New.  from the fridge.  Which is in the gray area.  Where the door is closed. 

Apparently that responsible, trustworthy oldest son of mine?? Took it upon himself to REopen the door after he closed it and let everybody get a yogurt snack.  The packs were still sitting on the table, some of Asa’s drink was scattered upon the top stairs.  The rest on the chairs and floor and (you guessed it) on him… including his newly washed hair.

Orion and I had a chat about obeying mommy completely.  As in "Go play" means "Go play" not "Go get yourselves a snack".  He seemed to understand.

Asa’s hair may smell a little fruity tomorrow, but the rest of him cleaned up well enough while Orion took his bath and they are all in bed AND ASLEEP before 9pm this evening.

Unless we have a chicken killer on our hands (sadly, we might), all’s well that ends well. 

Why, oh WHY couldn’t he stick to the fox population!!!

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