Let's talk about how my morning is going. Let's add one more thing to the list of stuff I never thought I'd ever have to do, shall we?

Last time, it was the vaseline and the chicken. Did I ever tell you about lubing up the chickens? If not, remind me to sometime. This time, it involved a hen, a pair of gloves, a pair of scissors, and a lot of patience. And really good aim.

(Warning: This message contains graphic imagery, and frequent use of the S word. Read at your own risk. There are just some things I can't totally tone down. It's all too fresh in my mind.)

Blackie (our pretty crevecoeur hen) has notoriously wet poops. And she doesn't like to perch on the perch, but sits on the top of the nesting box every night and day. And she hasn't wanted to move around much lately, or go outside at all, which is pretty odd, since she's missing out on all her favorite snacks. I never thought these things might be related until today. Now, what the children have neglected to mention is that there was a MOUSE-SIZED wad of compacted ****/pine bedding dangling from her ASS for who knows how long? I swear, I thought she'd swallowed a mouse and passed it whole. Not being the kind of person who lifts the tails of her chickens to see how they're doing up there, I never noticed, being too busy scooping manure and changing bedding and refilling food and water and all... but considering SOME children seem to think that their sole responsibility in poultry management is to hold them, sing to them, and love them, you might think that ONE OF THEM might have NOTICED this unfortunate development.

You might think. But you'd be wrong.

Because there it was today, and seems to have been building up like a tumor for quite some time. No wonder the poor thing never sits down, or perches, or walks around much - she's had a BIG, HARD WAD of **** dangling from her butt, whacking the back of her legs as she moves around.

Enter Mama Hen Extraordinaire. (That would be me.) No way I could wait till someone came home to help. Not with the obvious discomfort of the poor creature. Got my gloves. (Not my pretty leather ones.) Got some sharp scissors. (Not my sewing ones. Can't find my embroidery ones. I got my good kitchen scissors, the Wusthofs.) Got to work. Chickens all around my feet, jumping up on the perch and nest box to check things out and make sure she was OK, making all sorts of alarmed noises at me. I held her as still as I could by simply hanging on to the HUGE WAD of **** so she couldn't get far. Snipping, one feather at a time, till said **** wad finally came free.

I think we all breathed a little easier when it was done. She sat down again. Prince crowed. All was good with the world.

And once again, I ask myself, for this I went to Vassar?