At the fence

Some days when I need a moment to myself, I’ll pull a chair into the back of the yard and watch the chickens.

And just as I feel my tension ease, I’ll hear a voice. Someone calling me over to the fence to ask about the chickens.

The girls have become quite a spectacle. We live on a corner lot in a historic neighborhood, and we’ve had people walk as far as a mile to come see the chickens they’ve heard about.

From poking around, I know there are several families in the area that have chix, too. But with our visible location in the neighborhood, and a low picket fence … area families, children, joggers, dog-walkers, college kids all make a quick detour to take a peek. One day when they were under a bush and out of sight on the other side of the yard, one woman plaintively asked, “Where are the chickens? I just walked a long way to see them!”

This spotlight took me by surprise. At my last home, the chickens were hidden in a more traditional backyard. I’m not sure how many people even knew they were back there. But now, it seems everyone in this part of town has discovered my feathered secret. And for someone who likes to hide away, this change pushes my boundaries into new territory.

In fact, just a few moments ago a young guy stopped at the fence. “Hey! I was hoping to see the chickens today,” he said. I offered to grab some scratch to lure them closer, but he declined.

“Oh don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll be back!”

What the cluck?

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