We had relatives stop by this weekend and honest to God, you’d think they had never seen a chicken in the house before.
Oh, wait a minute.
Yup, not only did my in-laws come (and this was the first time they had seen Charlie but to be honest, they’ve gotten pretty used to some of our, um, rather unusual living experiments over the years so they weren’t too surprised) but Marc’s Aunt Margo and her husband also came to visit.
Now here’s the thing. Margo and Mike live in Kansas. The land of wheat, plains, hurricanes, and I assume a good chicken flock or two. And yet, both of them simply could not get over that Charlie was in the house.
Even though we’d put Charlie out during the day (in her protected pen and in supervised inclusion) as soon as dusk fell and we brought her back in, the cameras came out.
Here’s a photo of Charlie on the floor, Charlie on the couch, and Charlie on a lap. They wanted proof for all of their friends who had heard about the New Hampshire house chicken – that she really did exist. She wasn’t just a story.
And Charlie? She was on her best behavior. She ate any salad that fell on the floor and much to Margo’s delight, daintily nibbled the freeze dried worms in her out-stretched hand. After a while, everyone got used to Charlie and no one took notice of a chicken trotting around the living room or sitting on an armrest while we gave updates on our respective family’s activities.
I’m not sure that our relatives are ready for a pet house chicken of their own, but they are going back home with plenty of pictures and stories of the little chick who defied the odds and who now lives (part-time anyway) with that “crazy-chicken family in the North East.”
When our relatives return to Kansas, no doubt, they’ll drive by farms with chicken coops and birds scratching outside in the dirt – the way they are supposed to. I’m pretty sure that at some point Margo and Mike will scratch their heads, turn to each other and say “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in New Hampshire anymore.”