Wine Before Five
Because Life is Good. And Sweet. And Short.
Here we are, entering that point of the Midwest winter when so many begin to feel what we like to call “Cabin Fever.” You know, you just can’t get outside much, you sorta feel, well, just “all cooped up.”
That phrase has some other meanings, though. The first that always comes to mind is the story of a distant relative-in-law who had to be locked in the corncrib on the day of a family wedding – so he would stay sober for the ceremony. Ingenious plan, I thought.
The second story, though, is one shared recently by a friend. She’s graciously allowed me to post it here. The names have been deleted or changed to protect the innocent – and the guilty, as well, — as you will see as you near the close of her tale. This all played out early, early on a bitterly cold winter morning. If you have chickens, you will like this. If you have a beagle, a lab, a shepherd, and/or a husband, you will fully understand all the bit players in this scenario.
(Although this is being printed on my wordpress.com blog under my copyright, the original author retains all rights to this story, which unfolds here in her own words.)
“Well……my husband has the chickens’ door rigged so all I have to do is pull a rope and hook it over a nail…..then the chickens can go in and out of the coop without me going into the coop to open the door. Nice idea! BUT….this morning the door was stuck. So there I am with 5 dogs (one on a leash because she is a typical Beagle and will run away.) I can’t let the dogs in with me……they would have chicken for breakfast! I looked for a place to tie her up so she could not escape while I ran into the coop real quick to unjam the door.
So….it is hard to explain, but Hubby has a latch on the door that goes into the ground. So I lifted the latch and placed Miss Beagle’s leash in between the two eyes that hold the L-shaped peg in place. I knew with the leash in between the two eyes she could not escape. BUT… I had to make sure the door did not close all the way or the peg would drop back into the ground and I would be locked in. So, I cracked the door just enough that the chickens could not get out, and the dogs could not get in. I figured the worse thing that could happen is Miss Beagle would pull on her leash and the door would open. I was only going to run in and run out real fast. I didn’t think a chicken could escape.
Well, our Black Lab decided to paw at the door because she wanted in. YEP!!! When she pawed at the door, her weight caused the door to close…..the latch dropped into the ground — and I was locked in!!!
I banged and pushed….no way was that door going to open!!!
Hubby put a small window in the coop…..bigger than the chicken’s entrance and exit. BUT…..once again…..he installed it backwards, so you can only open the window from the outside!!!!
I eyed up the chickens’ entrance and thought to myself…..”Can I squeeze through there?” Down in to all the chicken poop I went. Poked my head through the hole, then my breast……(Remember it was in the 20’s this morning. I had on my pj’s, heavy robe, and coat). Nope, breast isn’t going! Now I’m beginning to panic!!!
Pushed on the door more…….dogs all barking at me. Eyed up the window again……should I break it? Hubby will kill me!! Poked my head back out the chicken door. By now the dogs are going crazy outside the coop barking at me….they thought I was playing with them.
Then….I see the neighbor coming out of the woods from hunting this morning! I start yelling, “Sam! Sammm! SAMMMMMMM!” The dogs are barking: he can’t hear me. He goes into his house!
Okay…nobody is going to know where I am. I’m stuck here until Hubby gets home.
The dogs were busy barking at me (laughing…I’m sure). The chickens thought I was in contention with them for the exit of the coop. Our little terrier mix was so busy chasing the pheasants back and forth he didn’t even know I was in trouble.
Gather your wits!!!!
So, I took my coat off and laid it by the chickens’ door. Took off my robe and laid it on top of my coat. Popped my head out the door. Popped my breast out the door. Now for the rear! Also…..mind you…..the chickens are trying to get in and out…..they were all over me!!!! Squawking….tracking crap all over me!!! Geez! Popped my rear out (What a vacuum that created!)
And I was out of the coop! Pulled my robe through the door….pulled my coat through the door. Man!!!! Thank goodness the exit was not any smaller!”
NOW I had to figure how to get out of the fenced-in area! Three feet high….wired in on all sides – including the top to keep out predators. I shimmied up along the side of the coop between the coop and the mesh. I threw my robe and coat out on to the grass. Lifted my leg over the fence — but could not get the other leg over. I called over our Australian Shepherd……held onto her — and she pulled me over!
Miss Beagle was right where I put her.
The first thing my husband said when I called him at work and told him what had happened, was…………………”And where was Miss Beagle?!” I said, “She was right where I put her!” Then he said, “Oh….You didn’t bend the fence did you, so the chickens can get out…Did you?”
All true! My 5 dogs, 40 hens, 2 roosters and 2 pheasants will vouch for me!”
But oh, yes: my friend’s husband is still alive. They’ve celebrated a wedding anniversary together since this happened.
So, the next time you feel that you might have Cabin Fever, please… stop and think how much worse it could be to truly be All Cooped Up.