The chicken-chaser struck again yesterday. It happened moments after I drove around the bend towards our house and saw Buddha, waiting to guide me in, as always. That’s the German shepherd in him, I imagine. He likes to prance in front of the car as though he were leading a parade.
Before Buddha could rouse himself from his spot overlooking the driveway, I noticed that the chicken was standing right next him. For a fleeting moment, I thought how happy I was that Buddha was so, well, Buddha-like, in his tolerance for his non-canine brethren- and so unlike Osa, the chicken-chaser.
This second chicken must have wandered here from far up the road- maybe she came in search of her missing sister, done in by Osa two weeks ago. She circles our house endlessly, feasting on slugs, snails, worms, weeds, and the fermenting guyaba fruit that litters our yard. It’s virgin chicken territory, we surmise. Maybe that’s why she hasn’t gone back to her peeps. She’s here so much that we’re about to name her. What to name a chicken adventuress? Mata Hari has a nice ring to it, also in the running are Calamity Jane, Amelia Earheart, and Louella Parsons.
Mata/Jane/Amelia/Louella is fearless. On her rounds of the property, she inches ever closer to the sleeping Osa, heedless of the danger should the dog open an eye, which has happened once or twice. Close calls don’t daunt this chicken.
Yesterday, as I contemplated the idyllic scene in front of the house, and steered the car to a stop, chaos erupted around me. The chicken squawked and leapt high into the air, feathers flying. Osa followed, jumping and barking in close pursuit, snapping ever closer at the chicken’s tail.
What’s going on? I fleetingly pondered, as I leapt from the car and joined the chase. Screaming, “No! Osa, No,” and wondering how she got loose, I pursued them round the yard, shedding my purse, keys and shoes as I ran.
Osa ignored me as she purposefully stalked her prey. I twisted my already injured foot trying to catch her, and cursed her silently. Limping my way through the grass and mud, I charged after the two animals. Poor Buddha joined in the confusion, barking and racing around between us. Finally, my husband entered the scene, voice booming, and Osa gave up the chase.
Now she’s back on her reinforced line, and the chicken has finally quit us. I think I’m going to miss her.