The early morning fog on days like this wraps the city like a sweater. A damp, cold, musty sweater that leaves you feeling somehow dirty every time you you enter it, like [redacted]. It also reduces visability to near nothing. Seattle drivers respond by raising the speed limit, turning off headlights, refusing to use what few turn signals they have and otherwise making a mess of things. Fog also makes it hard to take care of the chickens. My chickens are Buff Orpingtons, large golden beasts raised by my daughters and held and played with until they grew to expect (and demand) it. These chickens would be happier if allowed to roam the house. Odds are most of them would be sitting on the couch and watching tv with us if given the chance, but chickens crap everywhere, so I'm reluctant to bring them out of their run. This day, however, I had to refill the feeder. It's a massive galvanized beast - capable of holding 25lbs of feed in a single fill. That's the plus side - I don't fill it often (and feed is cheap!). The downside is it's heavy and unweildy, being more designed for being the buffet of a small brained bird than easy to move. So the chicken run door was open. Normally the chickens cower in fear when I move the feeder. This time though, one of them must have been feeling very clucky, because while I was moving the feeder out, it sneaked out into the yard. The buff orpingtons are large and normally slow, given to placid movement and remaining relatively calm. This does not mean they cannot run. Just that they usually choose not to. Not that it matters, because while I was filling the feeder and collecting the eggs, I was completely unaware. Then on a hunch I counted beaks. Twice. Oh, I knew right off hand which one was missing. Thought they are all large, golden and have red wattles this one was easily the largest of them, the friendliest of them. Also the one voted "Most likely to be torn to shreds by a dog" by her flock-mates. I locked the others in and began to play a game of "Find the chicken." This is in no way an inuendo. "Here, chick-chick-chick-chick," I called as I stalked the yard. The chicken declined to answer. Indeed, if the chicken had spoke up and said "I'm right here, dude," I think I would have had a nervous breakdown and demanded a cat scan from the wife's cat. I walked through the yard, peering into the fog. No Chicken. Back at the cage I counted beaks again. Five. Blast it, where had the largest chicken (Named "Super Jack" by my son) gone? The others ("Tastes Like," "Fillet," "Nugget," "Soup," and "Broth") were accounted for. I looked under the trampoline. In the storage shed. Inside the concrete mixer and the honey warmer. Although honestly, anything that can get into the honey warmer you do not want to pick a fight with. It has a fifty pound weight on the lid and if the chicken had been hiding in there, it would have been the last thing I saw as the hell chicken flapped up and pecked my head off. (Fortunately) No Chicken. I started up the stairs to lock the dogs in, and I heard a strange scratching. I turned around and rushed into the fog. No clucking, no flapping. No chicken. Again I started up the steps. Halfway up I heard it again - the scratching as if a chicken claw were being dragged slowly along the wood. If this were some camp fire story this would be the point at which the man with the hooked hand jumps yout and guts me with his chicken claw in place of a hook in place of a hand. No hooked hand man. No chicken. I went to the back door and locked it and as I turned around, I saw an unmistakeable golden blob disappear down the stairs. Ahah!. Down the stairs into the soup, where is that @#%R% chicken? Up the yard, down the yard - over to the tiny run where my bantams were eating grass. They were calm and friendly but as I stood there the alpha hen began to cluck and chirp as if something just beyond my vision were creeping up on me. Sure, it could have been the blair witch but I was really hoping it was my chicken. Maybe the Blair-Wicken. I went up to the stairs again and again I can hear it following me, rustling the grass. That's when it hits me. I walk down the stairs, careful not to step on the chicken who obviously was smart enough to get out of my way before. I walk over and sit down in the swing and wait. A few minutes later from the fog emerges the chicken. She walks right up and hops onto the swing, looking to see if I might have any scraps for her. We sit and swing for a bit, the chicken and I, while I pet her. Then I return her to the run and go in.