Friday, June 5, 2009

I’ve heard tell that of all the primitive weaponry……

(This was written by Jason, at my insistence, after he came in tonight and told me this story.)

As I write this guest entry on my wife’s blog, a storm is coming with rather hefty gusts in the forecast. Naturally, being the protective father/farmer that I am, I tried to round up the hens for the night. They usually do this on their own but tonight there was a straggler. With proverb like determination I approached the maverick hen. If the Good Shepherd would leave the 99 for the one who went astray, I should surely do the same.

Now, my “girls” know me well. When I walk across the yard toward them they meet me half-way; they will actually run for me with an endearing wobble-almost-fly shuffle. I’ve raised them since they were 3 days old. We have a mutual affection, save one bird….Flight Risk.
In the days before free-ranging I would carry them individually, one by one, from their permanent home to a range pen. During this period there was always one bird who did not like being caught. Being Barred Rocks, all of the hens are practically identical. I decided to tag this one with duct tape loosely around the hock so I could see if it was the same bird. It was. Night after night it was little duct-taped Flight Risk playing “catch me if you can.” I removed the tape eventually and she slipped into anonymity. I believe I found her again tonight.

First she ran under the chicken house. I poked at her with a stick, and Glacier, the Malamute we are boarding, slipped under the house and crawled toward her. She wouldn’t be budged and I went around to the other side. At that point she bolted for the horse corral. Flight Risk is a smart bird I guess. How do you get rid of someone chasing you who is 60 times your size? Oh, just slip under a series of gated fences. The chase ensued for roughly 10 minutes before I reverted to my pre-civilized self and picked up three rocks to add to my 3 foot stick.
She ran under a trailer where I used my three rocks. Anger, adrenaline and the whole scenario of a large man hunting a small bird must make you a pretty accurate shot. The three rocks brought her out into the open, she ran again, and just as she was about to round the corner of the barn, some Maori instinct kicked in and I let loose the throwing stick.

I’ve heard tell that of all the primitive weaponry available for hunting small game, the throwing stick brought the most success by far. The spinning stick increases your affective strike zone in diameter by the length of the stick, hence I had a three foot strike zone. I was not explicitly thinking this before the stick left my hand. Actually what I was explicitly thinking was, “I brought you into this world and darn sure can take you out of it”.
The stick whirled through the air. Flight risk was all, “OH @#&$!” I was all, “I’m a human, you are a bird, and I will not be chasing you much longer.” The impact was enough to shock her and she bolted into a pallet to make her stand. I simply reached in, pulled her out and tucked her under my arm. At this point she just nestled in to my side and relaxed. This is just what she did the myriad other times I’d catch her in the old days. Anyhow, I put her in the chicken house and she went about her business. I doubt she learned anything except to run faster next time.


Anonymous said...

Well, Brandon and I were just thinking of you guys and missing you and then we drove by the cabin just to see how it looked :) To get home and read this was hilarious. Brandon feels connected to your primitive weapon moment. Lots of love

Christi said...

I hate to admit this, but that story reminds me a little of my own experiences with getting a certain boy to bed last night.

Rachel Clear said...

Awesome guest post, Jace!

I think it's great how she nestled into your arms, understanding that you wanted to protect her and care for her, even though a stick had been thrown.

And Christi... I hope your bed-time didn't involved any sticks or rocks...ahahhaha!

Rena said...

Great story! I must have been sleeping or reading or something...sorry I missed all the action. She better be careful or she'll be added to her friends in the freezer!

Anonymous said...

Jason - this story was just as good to read as to hear firsthand! Although the sound affects sure were good. Maybe you should have Lori video you and post that.

Anonymous said...

This was so funny to read, thinking of how Sweet,caring and gentle you are then all of a sudden explosion!! Kinda reminds me of the Rat in Florida doesn't it!