Today is a day that makes me thankful that ol’ Nevah and I put a metal roof on our home — replacing the composition shingles that blew off with too much regularity out here in the Flint Hills of Kansas. If we still had the composition shingles today, they’d be scattered from here to Tulsa because the wind is blowing hard enuf from the northwest to blow the bluestem out by the roots, and tomorrow I’d be hiring a roofing fellow to replace the shingles.
Today, I’m thankful also that I don’t have any wheat fields in the High Plains because, if they were on bare sandy ground, the blowing sand would shear off green wheat plants in a heartbeat.
Plus, an added benefit of the wind and 45 degree temperatures is that almost all the ice on my lake has melted. And, as one last benefit, the wind has made it easier to stay indoors and write this column, while not regretting not being outside.
I more often get true funny stories from farm/ranch couples who deal with uncontrollable calves, not an uncontrollable mouse. But, this week, I’ve got a funny story about an uncontrollable mouse.
Our friends, Solo and Absinthe Mynded, took their laptop computer with them to their banker so they could all review the farm/ranch financial records and make business plans for the new year.
Now Absinthe is the record-keeper for the family and well-versed in computer operations. So upon everyone getting comfortable in the banker’s office, she opened up her laptop and their banker, ol’ “Cash” D. Spenser, intoned, “Now ain’t this handy. I’ll just transfer all your data onto a flash drive and put it on my computer so I’ll have all your numbers.”
And, that’s what he attempted to do. But, as he tried to use his finger to manipulate the cursor on the laptop screen, the ornery little bugger refused his every effort to land and stay on the tiny square he needed it to stop on. The cursor hopped around on the screen like it had the heebie-jeebies.
As Absinthe watched Cash’s efforts, she helpfully chimed in, “Sometimes that cursor is a little sensitive. Just drag it slowly onto the square and it’ll work.”
But, the wayward cursor continued to hop around on the screen. So, Absinthe said, “Let me try.” So, she leaned over the laptop and gave it her best effort, but with the same negative results.
Finally, Cash suggested, “Maybe if we had an actual mouse it would work better.”
Absinthe perked right up and said, “Oh, I brought it with me. It’s in my pocket.”
Well, folks, you guessed it. Her mouse was a wireless one and she had absentmindedly left the batteries in it and it was electronically alive. So, every time she moved even slightly, the mouse in her tight jeans pocket had inadvertently moved her laptop’s cursor. After everyone got over laughing at the incident, the rest of the visit went on normally.
Thankfully, Solo told me the story immediately upon getting home so I’d be able to tell it to you this week.
Folks, the roosters in my flock are paying the price for overzealous hen molestation. A couple of evenings ago, when I went to the henhouse to gather eggs and do the rest of the chores, the roosters had the henhouse in an uproar.
They were fighting with each other for opportunities to roughly molest the hens. And the poor ruffled hens couldn’t eat, get a drink, or even get up on the roosts.
And, I knew it wuz all my fault because I’ve neglected to cull the number of roosters in the flock because of the winter weather. I usually butcher the excess roosters that I hatch out in the summer but it wuz a job that I’d procrastinated doing. And, the randy young roosters were all too willing to test out their newly-found “roosterhood” and the old roosters were “defending their feathers,” so to speak.
In short, it was a chick yard fiasco and I decided to put a stop to it all. So, I shooed all the roosters out of the henhouse and for the next half hour I slowly sorted all the hens into the shelter and left all the roosters outside. The roosters tried every trick in the chicken book to find ways to sneak around me and gain entry to the henhouse, but I persisted and in the end the sort was completed.
Now, for the last two nights the roosters have had to roost on some perches in an open-fronted shed. So, far the coyotes and raccoons haven’t found them. In the daytime, they pace in front of the henhouse all day trying to get to “their” girls. Meanwhile, inside the henhouse, all is peace, quiet and serenity.
This weekend, the axe will fall on all the unwanted roosters and only a select four will survive to be reunited with the hens. The rest of the randy bunch will become chicken and noodles.
Chicken soup is the ending topic of this column, so why not end it up with some wise chicken soup quotes? Curtis Stone said, “I always think if you have to cook once, it should feed you twice. Chicken soup does the trick.” Comedian Henny Youngman said, “A Jewish woman had two chickens. One got sick, so the woman made chicken soup out of the other one to help the sick one get well.”
Have a good ’un. ❖