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Is that a Real Chicken?

We are known as the rednecks of the south side. Anyone asks where we live; we just say

“We are the ones with the free range chicken in the front yard”.

Now, Des Moines is a big small town. You know what I mean. So, if you are on the South Side, people knew what I meant. So, people would drive by real slow and “rubberneck (get it rubberneck their neck..this funny stuff), and we could see it on their face. They were saying to their self “self, is that a chicken?” and they would answer their self, “self, it is a chicken”. Cause that’s how I talk to myself and that’s how everyone talks to themselves.

“YES, PEOPLE IT’S  A REAL CHICKEN”

So, our chicken causes MORE accidents on our street because they couldn’t believe there is a free roaming chicken in our front yard. Ok, I’m kidding a bit. But people do seriously get distracted looking in our yard by looking at a chicken in our yard when they drive by.

(So to catch you up, we have squirrel distracting feeding across the street distracting people across the street, we have Nascar qualifying, robbery down the street and now…free range chicken.)

One day I was out in the front yard picking up millions of sticks from a storm from the night before and a girl on a yellow bike was frolicking.

People frolic on bikes, right? People do that.

Now I don’t know what neighborhood you live – Obviously, cause I can’t see you. But we have a neighbor who employs squirrels, and that’s just cool. And that’s cooler than bike lanes. We don’t have bike lanes, but you know what I’m talking about. Those bike lanes. Why bike lanes? I like bikes. I like lanes.

Why don’t we have bowling lanes on the street? I wonder if that is what is next!?? We don’t have bowling lanes in our street, though.

I had a great bike I sold once to get to Texas. (Which I’m sure will make it into this little writing thing…whatever this is, because that is a fantastic story of love, dedication, faith, sacrifice, a good friend, a diseased organ, saving a life, sack of pennies and a Greyhound bus. You wish I would tell the story now, huh?!?!?! Sorry, you’re gonna have to wait. It’s a good one, though!! )

Anyway, back to the bike…for those who don’t know about this phenomenon, they paint a little cute picture of it on the pavement. Bikes have their own lane in some neighborhoods. Now, again, it would be fun if they had bowling lanes in the street. That would be fun. That would fit the mood of our neighborhood. That JUST might slow down the Nascar people in our neck of the woods. Might.

But. Sadly. (insert long drawn out long dramatic sigh) We don’t have either of those. We have sidewalks that are not so even. On our sidewalk, we have an occasional pipe coming out of it. Note, you’ve been warned. Some sidewalks have patches of dirt. We are lucky we don’t have outlines of the body from murder scenes.

Joking.

Kinda. No, I’m joking.

Our sidewalk, on this day, had a happy frolicking biker. She doesn’t get a bike lane.

She didn’t get the memo that at any given point a car could run her over.

“Good for her”, I thought. In our Kum and Go robbing, squirrel working 1099’s critters, Nascar street qualifying, busy street. She has no clue that she put her life into her own hands. She was having a wonderful time on her yellow bike, wind blowing through equally yellow colored hair. Pretty sure if she had a soundtrack playing as she was peddling it would be Yellow Submarine by Beatles, or is that too cliché.

Or maybe Kevin Spacey Sailing. That’s a sunny song.

Hmm, I have to think about it.

Cause it would match the theme. She waved – of course, she waved. She’s yellow. She’s the color of happy and the sun. I waved back cause that’s the type of postcard kind of neighbor I am.

I smile through my teeth thinking about my bike that I sold my soul to get to Mission Texas and it got me a bus ticket and a baggie of change. (Another plug to keep you eventually coming back to that story, it’s a good one!) My thought was interrupted because I jabbed myself with a stick when I waved as Ms. Yellow, scratched my face.

Smile ended.

See what happens when I’m nice. Suits me right.

I shouldn’t be nice.

Maybe the universe doesn’t want me to be nice. Just like the universe didn’t want me to have my bike. Sigh. The Universe wanted me to give it to my friend who rides the bike ALL the time. I get it, I GET IT. Thanks, God. I get it. She actually uses the bike. My friend who I sold the bike uses the bike, unlike me, is sunny and rides it all the time

I get it. She actually uses the bike. My friend who I sold the bike uses the bike, unlike me.

So this keeps the shameless plug of my sad, sad bike story that should keep you hanging on for dear life. Faith, baggie, Greyhound bus, disease…

The stick reminds me of that. GRRR. What if I get a disease from the stick jabbing me in the face…

ANYWAY.

She then frowned as she looked at me and then she kept peddling straight…If I could have a time machine and have my cell phone out and video tape something, this would be one moment I wish I could. Then you all could have seen it for yourself. However,  was picking up the gagillion bagillion sticks in the yard, and why. No one cares. So there she was, she was looking at the chicken, her bike was going straight. She was on a bumpy old sidewalk made for walkers, not bikers. She looked at my chicken, she lost interest in me and my grumpy face even though I jabbed my face with a stick and I’m sure it looked amusing. But then the yellow bike hit a crater, leaped in the air like it was jumping for joy. She too, rubber-necked, and her bike crashed as if in slow motion the bike flipped, the flew in the air and she continued to stare at the chicken.  I dropped the sticks slowly running to her to her aid. I wanted to make sure she was alright. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t bleeding all over.

You would have loved it. Honesty. You would have. However,  was picking up the gagillion bagillion sticks in the yard, and why. No one cares. So there she was, she was looking at our south side free range chicken, her bike was going straight. She was on a bumpy old sidewalk made for walkers, not bikers.

She looked at my chicken, she lost interest in me and my grumpy face even though I jabbed my face with a stick and I’m sure it looked amusing. But then the yellow bike hit a crater, leaped in the air like it was jumping for joy. She too, rubber-necked, and her bike crashed as if in slow motion. The bike flipped, the flew in the air and she continued to stare at the chicken.  I dropped the sticks slowly running to her to her aid. I wanted to make sure she was alright. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t bleeding all over.

I’m not sure how she kept her head in that position as her body tousled like a rag doll. I dropped the sticks and rushed to her to her aid. I wanted to make sure she was alright. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t bleeding all over.

However,  was picking up the gagillion bagillion sticks in the yard, and why. No one cares. So there she was, she was looking at the chicken, her bike was going straight. She was on a bumpy old sidewalk made for walkers, not bikers. She looked at my chicken, she lost interest in me and my grumpy face even though I jabbed my face with a stick and I’m sure it looked amusing. But then the yellow bike hit a crater, leaped in the air like it was jumping for joy. She too, rubber-necked, and her bike crashed as if in slow motion the bike flipped, the flew in the air and she continued to stare at the chicken.  I dropped the sticks slowly running to her to her aid. I wanted to make sure she was alright. I wanted to make sure she wasn’t bleeding all over.

Or so I thought. But I started laughing instead.

I know. I’m a horrible person. Horrible.

HORRIBLE.

It was in slow motion. It looked as if she continued to look at the chicken while this whole thing went down. The bike swirling and whirling in the air, blood dripping from my face from the gash from the stick that was left from me waving at her (niceness never pays off), her hair flying, traffic rushing behind her undoubtedly running into each car like bumper cars watching this whole thing unfold in disbelief, squirrels across the street working for their corn kernels and putting on bonnets and her eyes fixating on the chicken.

Ms. Yellow she couldn’t stop looking at our chicken grazing in the front yard. It was crazy.

It’s a chicken people.

A chicken.

You can go to any local grocery store and see them under cellophane all the time.

You can order chicken anywhere.

It’s the other white meat. Oh wait, that’s pork.

Anyway, we were the weird people who had a chicken. Ok, we had one…but not always.

So, one day we had like 12 chickens. We loved our chickens. For awhile we kept them cooped up. But my man and I don’t like to keep them cooped up, so we let them roam around in our back yard. We have a big back yard. Like an acre. If you’re driving down on the south side and see doing 80 miles an hour like most people do, cause they need to qualify for Nascar, you might also notice we have a double lot. It’s huge for living in town. So, you can see why we would want chickens. It’s very logical. We already have the extra cars parked in the yard at all times cause of our kids and their friends, motorcycles come and go due to our friends. We have 4 dogs in addition to our brood and at one time we had 12 chickens until the raccoons got them.

My hubby and I talked about getting Llamas, goats, cows and horses, we are already the Jed Clamped family of the South Side might as well keep embracing the lifestyle, but I think the Des Moines ARL would frown on more country live stalk in our yard.

(side note suggestion for those of you under the age of 45 you might want to enlighten self and watch the Beverly Hillbillies…YeeHaw. Speaking of YeeHaw you should also look up Hee Haw if you want a little culture in redneck. which is part of my culture.)

So, don’t get too worked up. Ms. Yellow was fine. She came over and tried to pet the chicken, which typically doesn’t work. Her bike was fine as well.

My face, however, was gouged and a wreck and needed numerous stitches.

Not really.

Everyone was fine. Even the chicken.

 

Author:

Photographer, mother of 6, therapist, traveler and blogger.

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