My word! A Hen!
I stood stock still and stared right into her wild beady little eyes. As I stood there staring at her she fluffed up her feathers on her whole body, her neck feather rose straight up and made her scrawny neck look twenty times bigger than it did just a second ago. Then her wings came out to the side of her body and rose up in an arch at the exact second her beak opened and let out a loud amazing squawk!
THEN SHE WAS IN MY FACE! Her beak was aiming right from my left eye, or my soft nose, or my wonderful long velvet ears! I don’t know which for I put my front feet into the ground and pushed my rear end back out from under the brush as fast as I possibly could!
“WHOA!” I bayed! “WHOA!” What’s going on with you? I’m not going to hurt you.”
The hen FLEW out after me her very sharp beak aiming for anything and everything she could make contact with! I kept backing away until I could swing my whole body around and run back up on a little rise. I sat up there huffing and panting, while the hen squawked and sputtered down below me.
“SHUT UP!” I yelled at her. “SHUT YOUR BEAK! CLOSE YOUR WINGS! PUT THOSE NECK FEATHERS DOWN!” I bayed so loud I startled the hen into submission.
The hen stopped squawking and just looked at me. A stunned expression on her face. (Yes, birds can show expression. If you don’t believe me you should be standing right here beside me!)
“Okay,” I hollered at her. “Tell what this is all about! Tell me WHY you are up here in the Back Forty close to Coyote land and tell me why you are so darn mad at ME!” I demanded.
“Er…Well…” the hen sorta looked defeated and just sat down. Suddenly it looked like she was crying.
I pushed myself off my little rise and padded my way (carefully—very carefully, that hen has already proved she has a very mean temper) over to her and gave her a little push with my nose.
“What’s up, hen? Tell me. I just might be able to help you. I’ve helped lots of friends here on the farm. I’ll bet I can help you also.”
I sat down and wagged my tail in the soft dirt.
“I’m lost” she sobbed. “So very lost. I don’t know where I am. I have almost been dinner twice. Once with a fox, where I escaped and ran as hard as I could through a pasture full of big animals —I think one was a mule, the other a horse. They chased me and stomped at me.
Then I flew up into a tree. By this time, it was starting to get night so I just stayed there resting. The next morning, I looked up in the tree and there was an OWL! A great big owl…she hooted at me so I fluttered down as fast as I could and ran as fast as my hen legs would take to the cover of some brush when suddenly” the hen paused for breath; a huge shudder went over her whole body.
“A GREAT BIG HAIRY SCAR COVERED CANINE leaped over a rock and grabbed me with a muzzle ugly and full of teeth I knew it was time to give up the ghost! The hen flapped her body clear to the ground, laying as flat as a round-bodied chicken could lay; closing her eyes I thought she HAD given up the ghost.
I waited for a little while just watching her when one eye opened, then the other eye opened. The hen sat up. “Oh, …it’s not a dream. I am still here with a dog, in the brush, and very lost.”
“Please go on with your story.” I politely asked her.
“Oh, yes. I thought I was soon to be dinner.” The little hen shuddered. “When suddenly from out of nowhere that huge owl flew right down on top of the coyote, slammed her claws right into the coyote’s snout, the jaws fell open and I RAN! I ran and ran and ran until I couldn’t run anymore, then I hide in that big brush where you found me. “
“I was just starting to get my heart beat back to normal when you poked you crawled into my hiding spot! There was nothing I could do at that moment by fight back.”
I sat there amazed! What an adventure! What an amazing hen. Just amazing!