Friday, September 12, 2008

Hooked on Chickens? by Linda Johnson

Elna, head low, moving slow...thought she might be the one who laid the first egg. Gotta be a bit uncomfortable. Or maybe she was in shock. And awe from the experience. Then I saw a blond hair sticking out of her mouth. But no. A monofilament fishing line. Oofda. Did she swallow a hook? A jig? Lead sinker? Leader? Hoola popper?

My inner EMT kicked in. Gather: needle nose pliers, flashlight, popsicle stick, rubbing alcohol, Q-Tips, hand lense, plastic, masking tape. Carefully slide a plastic "gown" on her. Mere minute fussing. Cinch gently. Secure, mummifying her with masking tape. Only head and tail feathers free.

C'mon, now sweety, open up. Pry. Squint. Flashlight. Struggle. See nothing but line. Pliers pull. Snap. What's down there? Happens to loons. A lot. Only without the mummy stuff.

Demummified her outside after tatooing her inner legs with a permanent marker to distinquish her easily from Esther, Rose, and Eula.

Three weeks hence, Elna is gabby and perky as if she'd just had a beak job.

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