(Some of you know that my chickens default to no name and an eventual home in the soup pot once they slow down. They can escape the pot by earning a name--once you're named you're home free unless you turn vicious or need to be put down due to an illness. The naming has to be spontaneous -- we don't just go out and name chickens because we kinda sorta like how one looks. Miss Bossy Beak got hears by being proud, in my face, and the first layer; Buffy got hers by being everybody's pet -- including Mom, who doesn't like birds, but ended up naming her. Here's how the third name happened...) So we had a bit of a Christmas party yesterday with some folks that I've known for quite a long time (in fact, the friend's mother is my confirmation sponsor and I'm the friend's middle child's godmother). The older kids (kindergarten aged) wanted to see my chickens. Well, we're still mucking about in 6 inches of mud, so rather than take them out to the coop and risk everyone getting into trouble I went back and picked up the first chicken to present herself--the 5 month old barred rock pullet--and brought her around to the front porch so that everyone could see her up close and get to pet her and see how soft a chicken's feathers were and whatnot. Well the kids just soaked it all up of course, and then the adults had to come out and see as well, since they weren't real familiar with chickens. All this time the pullet's keeping up a low level, pleasant "prrruck prrruck, brruuuuuck." Well, my friends mother starts talking back to her. "Bwuck prrruck?" And the chicken replies back "prruck prrrrck prrrrruuuck!" This goes on for quite a while until everyone's losing it, both the chicken and my friend's mother changing inflection and seeming to have a very serious conversation. That pretty well convinced me that she was up for naming, but as I'm walking back and my brother's talking with me, the pullet KEEPS right on chatting, responding whenever he talks. He laughs and tells her that she sounds just like the escaping Thanksgiving turkey from a Tom Keith sound effects skit (and she really did), whereupon she treats us to a warbling "prruck!" that sounded frighteningly like a turkey. "Do the sound of the turkey jumping out of the hayloft and over the fence!" he tells her --- "PRRWWWWeeEEeeEEeeEEeeEECK!" she warbles. I don't know where this chicken got the opportunity to listen to A Prairie Home Companion, but she's saved her turkey, certainly. She's now known as Gabby, since she very much seems to have the gift of gab.