This morning found me bent over the fuel line in my riding tractor installing a fuel shut off valve. After sunup, in came marching the madams... 3 bold red breasted ladies followed by 3 less bold black and whites, 3 women with the darndest beards, and lastly the plump black/red wine-dotters. Add to the mix a french madam (white leghorn... french because her comb is folded over and look very much like a berret for some reason), and a cranky old lady who would keep 100 cats if she could (old barred rock). They gathered around me as I cursed at the fuel line for continuing to leak, each growling at the other until I reached into a bag and threw a whole sprig of grapes out the garage door. The bolted out the open garage door except one. I call her Suzy. She's the smallest Rhode Island Red. She was perched atop a pile of tools, looking at the valve. I always thought animals eschewed smells like gasoline/diesel or grease, but this hen seemed genuinely intrigued. She pecked at the valve softly, as if to make sure it was not the culprit in the gas leak. Then she eyed the hose clamps, pecking them quite a bit harder... she's thorough. Lastly she hopped up on top of the engine and stared down at me while I tightened the last hose clamp on the whole fuel line, making it an impregnable delivery system for my riding mower. I sat back, wiped the sweat off my forehead and opened and shut the valve a few times to test it, and Suzy nodded her approval, clucking and growling all the time. Mind you, the other hens have devoured all the grapes and are fighting over the ones that rolled away while they squabbled. I picked up Suzy so I could put the hood down, and rested her on the steering wheel. She seemed content enough, so I fired it up. That made her flap her wings, and as I backed out I had to pick her up and hold her so she wouldn't lose her balance and fall. Then we raced around the yard twice, I couldn't go through the middle because we irrigated and it's still muddy; and I didn't want to get stuck. After my little victory lap I parked the mower next to the coop, set her on the hood while I set to getting the chickens water. I yelled back at her, "Hey we did pretty good, didn't we?" She chirped back an answer! I swear! It would have been a perfect moment... except... She hopped from the hood to the seat, ruffled her feathers, stuck out her head and PLOOOOOPPPPPP! Laid a big wet green doodoo all over my tractor seat. Then she jumped down to the ground and got a drink. I guess she was not duly impressed.