Getting rid of the chicken

Caramba, mi amor! Caramba, mi amor! sang someone on FM 106.5 as I drove the Honda home in the dark of early evening.

Twenty minutes earlier, I had been walking in cool twilight across the beautiful, downtown plaza, clutching a brown paper bag containing two sugar donuts, and thinking of my chicken.

Our neighbors have chickens that roost overnight in an apple tree that abuts our property wall. Now and then, an adventuresome soul will make the leap and walk about in our yard for a spell. Then she’ll head home, back over the wall, in a flap of feathers because chickens don’t fly well. They have a low-max altitude.

This has been going on for years, and we didn’t mind much because the nasty things always went back where they came from. Till a week ago.

One came over and decided to stay. She sticks mostly to the side of the wall that abuts where her kin live, and she lurks beneath aloe vera and bougainvillea. Sometimes, she stands in the big, center semicircle of grass to taunt me.

I’ve tried to catch her, but I’m not as agile as I once was. My child bride assists on occasion, but so far the fowl has eluded our grasp.

New ImageOn Monday, a couple of guys come to lay talavera tile in the downstairs terraza. They’ll be out there for quite a few hours. They say the work will take two days, maybe three.

Here’s my plan: The first day, I’ll offer 50 pesos to whomever catches the chicken and tosses her into the street. If she’s still there on Day Two, I’ll offer 100 pesos, and that should inspire them enough.

I don’t want to eat her, and I don’t want her tossed back over the wall into the neighbors’ yard because this chicken has wanderlust and might revisit. That’s far less likely if she’s out in the street with multiple options for adventure.

The walk across the twilight plaza would have been more enjoyable had I not been thinking about the cursed chicken.

I would have focused fondly on those sugar donuts.

* * * *

(Update! My yardman came Saturday morning and had the bird in his clutches within a minute. Incredible. Mexicans can do anything.)

33 thoughts on “Getting rid of the chicken

    1. Ms. Shoes: $2.50 U.S. is being lavish? Well, if whoever catches the bird wants to take her home and eat her, that’s just gravy for him, so to speak.

      By the way, do you know why giblet gravy is called giblet gravy? No? It’s because if they called it what it really is, nobody would eat it.

      Ha, ha, ha! Get it?

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  1. As one who has had chickens I know you don’t catch them by chasing after them. Put some birdseed in a cardboard box on its side and when the chicken goes to eat it sneak up from the other side and close the lid of the box. Piece of cake.

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    1. Brent: Actually, you can catch them by chasing, but it’s not easy. I’ve seen it. But your idea is a good one, and if one of the tile guys doesn’t get her, I might try that. Problem is the yard is so big, it might be a spell before she notices, and I might not be there to tip the box. But we’ll see.

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        1. Brent: You’re a funny fellow, but that video proved you can catch a chicken. Rocky did it.

          Actually, years ago, when the first chicken from next door came for a visit, I went over there, knocked on the door, and asked the housewife to come get her chicken. She did, and she didn’t have much trouble catching it either. Mexicans can do anything. But our relationship with that family, never good in the first place, has degenerated, so I’m not enlisting her surly help again.

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          1. Yeah, but Rocky was twenty something. You or me, I don’t think it would be a good idea to try.
            I totally agree that Mexicans can do anything. Good luck with your new pet 🙂

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  2. She probably already has a clutch of eggs hidden somewhere. You are in the chicken business now. You cannot catch a chicken by chasing it. And that is not good for a guy of your age. A few crumbs from those donuts will do the trick.

    I had a nasty rooster once that bothered my wife and granddaughter. I knew I couldn’t catch it. It could run a lot faster than me. But it couldn’t outrun the spray from the garden hose. It hated that. Whenever it saw me turn the water on, it hid.

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    1. Señor Gill: Oh, sure, one can catch a chicken by chasing it. I’ve seen it done. I can’t. You can’t. But some people can, younger people. Also depends on how well you can corner the bugger.

      As for spraying it so it will hide. It already hides quite nicely, thank you. No need for a hose.

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      1. Do you really think that she will not come back to her clutch of eggs if you have her thrown into the street. She got into your yard once; she will do it again. You have a lot to learn about chickens.

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        1. Señor Gill: She’s been here about six days. I doubt she has either nest or eggs. And she came here by hopping down from the apple tree the neighbors have abutting my property wall. Were she in the street she would have no tree to assist her, plus the wall is about 50 percent higher. No, if I get her out in the street, she’s long gone. She’ll have to go bug someone else.

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  3. We catch escaped chickens by taking a damp kitchen towel (slightly larger than normal) and tossing it over their heads. As soon as the cloth lands on them, they just sit down and you can pick them up and put them back where they belong.

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    1. Loulou: Well, there’s a swell idea. If I cannot get someone else to catch her, I’ll likely try that. Of course, you gotta get close enough to the bird to pull that off. I may use a beach towel.

      I just found your feedback in the Trash file. Dunno why it was sent there. Wasn’t me. FYI.

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        1. Loulou: No more than 15 minutes ago, Abel the Deadpan Yardman arrived to cut the grass. I told him about the chicken and pointed at the huge aloe vera where, I suspected, the bird was hiding. He went there, bent over, reached in and pulled out the chicken! Fifteen seconds total. Incredible.

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  4. When is the last time you ate fresh-killed yard chicken? Unless you have some really decent birds you will see that eating yard kill is not recommended, especially for a Southern boy like yourself. Yard birds are tough, stringy and have no resemblance to what you purchase in stores for your daily meal. We have chickens here and figured we just needed to enjoy home-cultivated organic birds for consumption. Wrong.

    Even after simmering in a pot for hours, they were still horrible compared to store-bought chickens. Maybe it was the way I was cooking them. Perhaps the water? The pot was the incorrect size. I give up! I just buy the overly yellow birds at the mercado if you want eatin’ chicken.

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    1. Tancho: I believe you already. I never said I would eat that invader. I just want her outta here!

      Anyway, we don’t cook chicken at all here at the Hacienda. We buy them cooked, mostly the roasted ones at the many outlets all over Mexico. Yum.

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  5. Probably make a good pet in your golden years. Very low-maintenance. Eats insects. Requires no care. You can just sit on the patio and watch your chicken. Very relaxing, no?

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    1. Ray: Truth be told, I’ve considered just leaving it out there. It’s a nice-looking hen who lends a certain air to the yard and who appears to mind her own business. She sure wishes I would mind mine. But can it subsist entirely on what it finds in the yard? I’m darn sure not getting involved in its care. I’m more a city slicker than Ole MacDonald. I know absolutely nothing about chickens. Fresh eggs would be nice, but little chicks would not be nice at all. But that can’t happen without a rooster, right?

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  6. Abel the Deadpan Yardman came Saturday morning and caught the wayward chicken in literally seconds. He pulled the bird from below the aloe vera bush and took him home. For what purpose, I know not and care less. Problem solved. Yipee!

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  7. I hope your plan works. Have you thought about having the neighbors that the chicken belongs to come and get the chicken?

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    1. M&C: The first time one of their chickens jumped the wall, that is what I did. The woman came over, caught the bird, and took her away. But the neighbor was so surly about it, I swore I’d never get them involved again. And I haven’t.

      But not to worry. The yardman caught the chicken easily this morning and took her to his house just two doors away.

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  8. Well, I guess the problem is solved now. Pity. I was going to suggest you pull Donald Rumsfeld out of retirement to get it. Oh well.

    Saludos,

    Kim G
    Redding, CA
    Where we suspect one of our neighbors of no-so-secretly keeping chickens. Or at least one rooster.

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    1. Kim: Was Rumsfeld involved in a chicken incident? I do not recall, but I’m guessing so.

      As for your neighbor, I’m guessing it’s illegal to own a chicken in California. So many things are illegal there, plus all the taxes, etc. People are leaving the state in droves, chickens in tow or not. Sad.

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      1. Actually, the people who most notably aren’t leaving are the Hollywood types who loudly proclaimed they’d do just that if Trump won. Many of us are still waiting. Perhaps having their mansions burned to the ground will provide that extra push.

        And yes; Rumsfeld famously talked about how catching Osama bin Laden was like chasing a chicken. You’d never quite know when you’d catch him.

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        1. Kim: Don’t recall that Rumsfeld quote about Osama bin Laden. As for Hollywood people, they should stick to entertainment instead of mouthing off about stuff they know squat about.

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          1. We are in total agreement about Hollywood types. I’m not sure how being good at pretending you’re someone else qualifies you to comment on politics. Saludos.

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