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March 10, 2016: A Conversation with Sophie, aka Couch Potato, and Freebird, aka Freeloader

This conversation took place in the upper shed, where the goats (Ranger and Rover) and the chickens (Sophie and Freebird) all reside. I was specifically addressing the chickens, and the goats chimed in.

Alys: (to chickens) listen up. I have an announcement to make.
Ranger: Oh boy.
Rover: Ranger shuddup. Yer a male.
Ranger: Sure am.
Sophie: Yes Alys?
Alys: Girls, I’ve decided to rename you.
Sophie: Rename us? Then we won’t know who we are.
Ranger: You don’t know who you are anyways, so what you are called is a moot point.


Rover: Ranger, shuddup. I want to hear what Alys has to say.
Alys: Thank you Rover. Sophie, Freebird, your new names are based upon your current level of egg productivity, which for the past year has been zip.
Freebird: Are you going to call me Zip? I like it. I am still fast.
Sophie: And me Zap?
Rover: Zip and Zap – I like it.
Ranger: Rover, shuddup. I want to hear what Alys has to say.
Freebird: I like my name. It reminds me of my past life. I used to run free, in the huge garden at Sun Circle Farm. Ahh, those were the days. Worms were plentiful and the living was easy. Now I spend my winters in a coop.
Ranger: Go out in the snow and you’ll freeze your claws off.
Rover: Like Stubbi. Ranger, remember Stubbi? She was one extraordinary chicken. She became primordial.
Rover: Primordial. Where did you come up with that word?
Ranger: I heard Alys talking to Pete. She said Tinni, the old horse, you know, the old geezer that in good weather comes up here, into the yard, he is primordial.
Freebird: Ranger, Rover, shuddup. What Alys has to say is going to have a direct bearing on my and Sophie’s future.
Sophie: I like my name. I used to live in a well built two story coop, this as opposed to this poorly built one story deal. I had two roommates who looked just like me, they were white and had black collar feathers.
Alys: And you all laid eggs, right?
Sophie: Yes.
Freebird: The way I look at it, the less eggs we lay, the more valued they are. That one egg I laid a month ago, Alys you made a really big deal about it.
Alys: Bottom line: Egg laying productivity is now in the near negative numbers. We need more eggs. Pete and I are making some major dietary changes. We’re eating less carbohydrates and more protein.
Sophie: But Freebird and I are well past our egg laying prime.
Ranger: That’s bullshit.
Rover: No, that’s chicken shit.
Ranger: Stubbi continued to produce eggs until she was 10. She was an egg laying fool.
Rover: Same was true of Chicken Catchitori, Henny Penny Palin, Nimbi, and Red Hen.
Ranger: And it would have been true of Henrietta but she got taken out by the ermine.
Sophie: Taken out by an ermine?
Ranger: Don’t worry – this was before your time. Pete reinforced your cage so that no critters can get in.
Sophie: Chicken shit means to be scared.
Freebird: And I’m not afraid of nuthin.
Ranger: Not even the border collie?
Freebird: Not even.
Sophie: Dogs and chickens are a bad combo.
Freebird: So are those of us who are not pulling our weight going into the stewpot?
Alys: No. I can’t do that. I love you both.
Rover: I have a solution to the problem, which is the decline in egg productivity.
All in unison: Hey, hey, hey, let’s hear it!
Rover: I propose that Alys get two more chickens, young egg layers.
Alys: I dunno.
Freebird: Bad idea. Not enough room in here for four chickens.
Ranger: Pete could enlarge the pen.
Freebird: The roost area, making it larger would take some doing.
Rover: Pete can do just about anything.
Freebird: Back to the issue at hand. Name change suggestions are awful. I want to be continued to be called Freebird.
Sophie: And I want to continue to be called Sophie.
Ranger: Name changes aren’t going to change the situation.
Rover: So we are stuck with a couch potato and a freeloader.
Sophie: We all contribute to the compost heap.
Alys: So perhaps the new names aren’t a good idea.
Rover: Zip and Zap. I think these are good new bird names.
Alys: Let’s vote. All in favor of getting two young egg layers and naming them Zip and Zap say aye.
Alys (after taking a count): Two for, two against. The two against are those who would be most affected.
Ranger: Let’s talk about this matter later in the month.
In unison: Agreed.

Next: 69. March 11, 2016: Another Ideas Day (Sigh)

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