So I was stuckish in downtown traffic last night because I am attending the noir series the museum throws every year. This year the focus is on DAMES, EVIL DAMES. Barbara Stanwyck ahoy! Did you know she was born a Ruby? And her stage name was BARBARA? I know, I know.
My phone rang and it was not a DAME, it was Moonpants, so I threw it on speaker. As you may recall Moonpants is my former neighbor who I am feeling quite fond of now that he doesn’t want me to entertain his child via mine and borrow “Like some butter and some eggs because Pantlet woke up craving pancakes man.” He is kind of like The Dude and Tim Robbins’s character in High Fidelity mated.
“Hi SJ, it’s Moonpants.”
“Hey!” He is throwing a party for his 50th birthday on Saturday, so I figured it was about that. I was waiting to be asked to bring, like, all the food or something. “Sooo the neighbors are wondering about your chicken because they keep seeing her running around in the alley…” I had given Moonpants the heads up that we had tried to catch Mary Jane several times before and after we moved but that she had gone feral after Raccoon Slaughter XVII: The Nommining at the beginning of this summer. I suspect she is mooching off the concerned neighbors now, who have a coop too.
“If they can catch her, they can totally keep her,” I said. “You know we tried to catch her several times.”
“Yeah, it sort of is like, maybe she made a choice not to be caught,” Moonpants said. I wasn’t really following his logic that any chicken really makes a choice about anything, but his worldview was totally in my favor this time so I went with it. At least this wasn’t the 45-minute discussion we had once about “Is bindweed really like a weed man, and who determines what a weed actually is?” as I plucked bindweed off our shared fence so it would not block the sunlight and strangle my blueberries.
“Sure. She’s lived in the tree for a few months now and has been safe. I had the thought that if I took her to a new house and she roosted in trees she did not know it might be more dangerous for her.” Seriously, I really had thought about this. She was doing pretty well where she was. If I did manage to catch her and take her with me, she would probably get eaten the first night. Additionally, a chicken that comes down every morning and eats your chicken chow and hides her eggs is really not much better than the crows who eat the chickens’ table scraps before they can. She would do okay in a closed run, but I never have one of those.
“Okay, well, I’ll tell them they can have her if they can catch her.” He was quiet for a moment. “Hmm…I kind of like the idea of having a wild alley chicken.”
“It’s more common than you think,” I said. I have seen runaways in almost every neighborhood.
“See you Saturday!” he said and rang off.