When you live in a cautionary tale

There is a folk tale about a man who complained that his house was too loud, so the local wise man told him to get a dog. When his house was still too loud, the wise man instructed him to continue to add to his animal collection... cat, horse, goat, cow... you get the idea. When the man complains again about his house being too loud, the wise man then tells him to get rid of all the animals. Suddenly, the house which was too loud originally, now seems perfectly peaceful and quiet.

My house is going to seem so serene and quiet once the weather warms and various animals move outside. My kitchen will feel enormous. My house will smell sweet. It will be wonderful. Because right now, we have 21 chickens in the kitchen.

They peep and squawk and scratch and need almost constant refillings of their food and water.

We have five ducks in the TV lounge. They are stinky. Very stinky. And go through food and water as though they were sieves. When they need more water, they peep very loudly. They peep nearly constantly. Well, when they are not quacking, that is. Did I mention they are stinky?

Then we have Olive in her cone. She is back to walking and has stopped being afraid of the cone. While this might sound good, I'm not sure it is. A Great Dane in a great cone takes up a lot of space. So now, not only do we have to conted with her giant size and her tail which feel like a whip when it hits you, but her head is in a cone that she uses like a weapon. It doesn't seem to matter to her that she doesn't fit through spaces, she just barrels along anyway.

But the fun doesn't end there. Oh no! We have Midnight who has discovered something he likes almost as much as butter and bread... tulips. He likes to pretend he's a squirrel and nibble off the tops of the tulip flowers leaving them lying on the table. For added fun, he will throw up the undigested tulip stems on the carpeting.

Not to be outdone, Nefertiti has her own past time. She loves to scare the chickens. We already knew she enjoyed lying on the wire top of brooder boxes and watching the bird(s) beneath, but the chickens have added a new dimension to her fun. When she whacks the wire, the chickens scatter with much squawking and flapping of wings. Sometimes Nefertiti will just hit the wire with her paw and watch what happens. Other times, she will jump up and land on top of the wire, which produces a far greater amount of squawking and flapping. Nefertiti will be sad when the chicks move outside. She is the only one.

Kenzie spends much of his time looking even more hound doggy than usual. He is not interested in the chicks or the ducks or the tulips. He is most certainly not happy about the giant dog with the giant cone on her head, and gives her a wide berth. Often he will just come up and stare at someone as if to say, "Why? What did I ever do to you?"

And it's been cold. We're currently twenty degrees below normal for this time of year. This means that its not only animals which are cooped up inside the house, but children are as well.

Someday spring will come, right?


Yep. Chicks in the den here and our Xena loves to in and see them!

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