This is Mabel.
She deliberately runs away from me.
She watches me, and runs when she knows I’m not looking.
One second she’s there, I turn to yell at the one of the dogs who are always barking, and bam!
Mabel is gone.
Little chicken feet racing across the yard, through the brush, into the woods, across the street, and into the neighbours yard. The neighbour that is three houses down from us.
And there I go running through the yard, jumping over perfectly behaved chickens, pushing bawling goats out of my way, while the dog is still barking. I usually have my cat hanging off my shoulders, and I race head first through the brush, ripping my sweater on thorn bushes, chasing this damn chicken. Sometimes she has gotten too far ahead of me, and ends up on the street where I am able to grab her while huffing and puffing, with blood on my arms and a very upset cat on my shoulders. Sometimes she bests me and I have to go creeping through the neighbours garden looking for my run away chicken and secretly praying that they are not looking out the window.
Can you imagine?
Oh there’s that strange woman again crawling in the garden.
Sometimes I get in Mabel’s way on time, before she gets across the yard. She causally looks at me like what? I wasn’t doing anything.
And sometimes she hides from me.
Yes that damn chicken knows when I’m barreling after her like some unsure footed cat carrier, and she hides in the thick brush.
Usually under a fern.
She lies flat on the ground and waits for me to leave, or walk past her. Sometimes I see her duck down, sometimes it’s not until she sees her chance and starts racing off again that I realize where she was. Of course the brush is so thick all I see is a bunch of ferns and raspberry bushes start to shake as she rushes underneath them.
Lucky for me Mabel is easy to catch – once I have caught up to her.
Once she knows she has been caught she stays put and lets me pick her up without any flap. She actually seems to enjoy being carried around some days.
So there I am marching back down the road towards my house with my trespassing chicken under my arm, my very disgruntled cat on my shoulders, and leaves in my hair.
Once there even was a very confused spider hanging off my chest, wondering how on earth he ended up there and where his web had gone.
And yes I screamed and beat the poor spider to death like some deranged gorilla banging its chest.
I’m cool like that.