Chicken in a car
Posted: Wednesday, October 20, 2010 8:01 pm
By: By Lisa Smartt
Have you ever tried to put Christmas lights back into the original box? Have you ever bought a four-man tent, gone camping for two weeks, and tried to fit the tent back into that tiny little cardboard box it came in? If so, you can sympathize with what happened to our family last week.
It was time for the 4-H Chicken Show on the courthouse lawn. If you’ve never been to a chicken show on a courthouse lawn, you definitely need to put this on your “bucket list.” Our younger son was to pick out six of his best chickens and transport the chosen birds to the courthouse. But our SUV was in the shop and the only vehicle left at our house was the little four-door Saturn. Remember that ol’ song, “Chicken in a car. The car won’t go.” The fact that they got the chicken IN the car was a miracle.
The night before the big show we felt like we should give the chickens a bath. I mean, they had been invited to the courthouse square for a big party, right? If you’re wondering how one bathes a chicken, I can only speak to our personal experience. Upon the advice of a friend, we washed the chosen birds with a little warm water and baby shampoo. Feel free to e-mail me and I’ll send you a picture. Yes, we scrubbed their little beaks and talons with a toothbrush, too. And, of course, when I say “we” I mean my son and my husband. They can both put “scrubbed a chicken with a toothbrush” on their resumes now. But allow me to clarify something. I DO NOT recommend bathing chickens on a regular basis. Based on my personal observation, I think chickens really like being dirty and maybe that’s just God’s will.
The six chosen chickens spent the night in a cage in the sunroom. We were all ready to leave the next day. Only one little problem. The cage wouldn’t fit in the trunk. According to raw measurements, it WOULD fit. But that’s kinda like when Cousin Charlotte said she could wear a size 9 dress for Jolene’s wedding. The tailor didn’t count on the “incidentals” around the sides and middle. The cage had a few incidentals that caused it not to fit. We tried the back seat. No go. Finally, we realized that as much as we wanted to transport the chickens in the cage, it was a dream that had to die. So we moved them into a big plastic storage bin. One of the chickens started thinking she was too good for a storage bin (must have been the bath). She flew down into the woods and my husband and our orange cat commenced on a powerfully important race. I’m proud to say a slightly-chubby good lookin’ college professor stirred up some serious dust and emerged the victor that day. All six chickens eventually made it into the plastic bin in the back seat. We made it to the show right on time. It was a lot of fun gatherin’ with the other young farmers on the courthouse lawn. As I always say, “Life in the country is sweet ... and sometimes a chicken smells like baby shampoo.”
Published in The Messenger 10.20.10
Lisa Smartt, The Smartt View