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Houses I have lived in: the bungalow

It came with about a hundred chickens.

The bungalow was the first house R and I lived in when we married. I called it "the bungalow," but it was really a single-wide trailer. My dad let us live there rent free. The previous tenant had gotten himself a flock of chickens, but no coop. He left a giant bag of feed for them. My dad had him come and get them, but there was no way to catch them all. So we had chickens for a while. I adored them. I loved watching our indoor-only cats chirping at them through the screen door. I looked forward to feeding them, having them gather around me. I was in awe over their pretty colors, and I often mimicked their unique chicken sounds along with them.

The bungalow was way out in the country. Way out and then set back off the road where no one could see it. My commute to work was an hour and a half. The second day I was 5 minutes late because of an accident on the highway, and my boss called me into the office to talk about it. She said that I needed to leave earlier in the morning and to be there on time. Punctuality is the most important thing in the world. That night, I woke up at 3am and saw that the bathroom garbage can was full to overflowing, so the next day I called in sick and the day after that I quit. I'd never quit a job without another one lined up.

Everything was brown. Brown outside and brown inside. Brown carpet, brown walls, brown cabinets. Brown. There was no real hallway. It was pretty much one room after another all in a row. Bedroom, bathroom, eat-in kitchen, living room, bedroom with half bath. The roof was flat. It was unnecessary to lock the doors out there nestled in the woods, but we did it anyway. Locking the door reminded me of unscrewing a child-proof medicine bottle.

Eventually, we were down to three chickens: Baby Girl Chicken, White Chicken, and Buddy. Baby Girl began nesting in the safest place she could find - the burn barrel. Someone, at some time, had gotten hold of a big, metal drum and put it in the yard to burn whatever household waste would burn. The center had rusted out and disintegrated, so the top half rested lopsided on the bottom. It was full of ashes, but had some broken down boards from an old dresser at the top of it that had not burned. The hen sat there. When you came close, she caused a huge ruckus. Eventually, I found her abandoned eggs, none of them fertilized. But a month or so later, she was walking around the yard with a fluffy, yellow baby chick. White Chicken and Buddy stayed with Baby Girl and the three of them formed a little triangle around the chick for protection. That was the only day we saw the chick, though, and soon we were down to just White Chicken. When we moved out, back toward Atlanta, White Chicken was still around, roaming the woods. I wished him luck, I really did, but I knew he'd make some hawk a nice dinner one day.

***

More houses I have lived in here.

Comments

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Elizabeth

100 chickens??? How long did it take your dad to catch them (or most of them)?

maya

My dad didn't have to catch them! :) The guy that moved out did. I have no idea how long it took him. We were out and when we got back, tons of them were gone.

Amy

Don't know why I'm laughing right now... maybe it's nerves. I'm afraid of chickens (all birds really).

Elizabeth

Haha, oops, I guess I misread that line. I was feeling such sympathy for your dad!

Jennifer

Beautiful post...you paint such a mental picture with your words. I love your descriptions and admire your openness.

maya

thanks jennifer! you're sweet to say...

China Cabinets

Maybe the white chicken still lives!

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