The rain has been beating a harsh cacophony on the roof for the past four nights, the wind gusting, throwing the tempest against the vinyl siding with a deafening ferocity. I stayed, each night, hunkered down in the covers waiting for dawn and a ceasing of the deluge.
Living on the east coast where the water table is about four inches under the ground creates standing water any time it rains. Apparently, the latest storm was deemed hurricane-ish by the weather bureau. I looked over at my neighbor’s yard and observed an island with a lone tree in the middle of his front yard. There was a raging river flowing between our driveways. All I could think was, ‘Please let the rain stop.’
The chickens were happy to see me slogging my way across the soupy lawn, knowing I always bring goodies. I sighed as I looked in their enclosure, at the moat surrounding the chicken house and the small bit of yard they haven’t managed to kick out through the fence, where they stood in relative dryness.
They always run for the gate as I’m opening it, and today they almost swam, water sprayed up creating a wake as they dashed over to see what snacks I had with me. I wonder if the mud squishing between their toes has the same feel for them as it does for me?
Bossy cackled, “Would you do something about all this water? If it doesn’t stop soon we’re going to need and ark, and I refuse to share it with all those other animals. It’s got to be a chicken only arrangement.”
“Oh my God, my feet are all pruney and freezing cold,” groused Lucy. “Do something to fix this mess.”
Ethel, always the quiet one, silently ruffled her feathers and gave them a shake, trying to rid herself of the spray she endured running behind the other two for treats.
My boots sucked and slid as I maneuvered onto their island refuge to clean the poop out of their house, a task I do every morning to ensure uncontaminated eggs. It amazes me that even with a roof over the pen and cinder blocks lining the edges of the chicken yard to keep water from flowing in from the backyard, that it can still resemble a small pond. I’m guessing it has to do with a high water table and the fact that chickens like to dig, especially around the edges of their enclosure.
We’re still dealing with rain and high winds. This morning I was dragging on my rain coat when I looked out and saw there were only two chickens in the yard. Lucy was in the hen-house laying an egg and Ethel was peeking in the door at her. No sense in wading out there until everyone is back outside, since I can’t clean the hen-house with anyone in there.
I had breakfast and looked out again. I was awed and amazed that all the chickens were in the hen-house. They must be mighty tired of standing out in the weather. I’ve never seen them choose to be inside during the day, no matter how horrid or cold the weather. We’re begging you creator for a span of dry days to take the water table down a notch or two.