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?
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)