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Another Day in the Country

It’s An Emergency

© Another Day in the Country

Labor Day weekend was extremely busy at the spa where my daughter works in the tourist town of St. Helena, California.

The phone was ringing constantly with requests for last minute massages, facials, and herbal wraps. Living in beautiful Napa Valley means that holiday weekends can seem like a vacation staying at home!

Yet again, the phone rang. Someone was already on hold.

“Mom?” came the young voice on the line.

“I’m really busy at the moment; can I call you back in a little while?” asked his harried mother. After all, this child of hers wasn’t home alone.

“It’s kind of an emergency,” he said, and click, the phone line went dead.

Kind of an emergency? What mother wouldn’t dial the number back immediately?

“Hello,” the youngster answered.

“What’s the emergency, honey?” The patrons of the Health Spa could just wait for a bit, especially with a family emergency!

There was a slight hesitation and then. “Mom, I think I heard crowing!”

I’m not exactly sure about the conversation between mother and son from that point on because I started laughing.

“Oh, yes. He could have heard crowing,” I said to my daughter as she now related the incident to me.

“But how could there be a rooster when they were all supposed to be hens?” she wanted to know.

So, even though my daughter is over 40, I (as the wise all knowing mother) delivered a “birds and bees” version of just how often the folks who decide the sex of a baby chick are wrong.

“About 90 percent of the time, they are right,” I told her. Which means, “You’re bound to get a rooster every once in awhile. Consider it one of life’s little surprises.”

I was still chuckling about this being “an emergency.”

If they were living in town, this truly would have been a trauma for a young poultry owner who was almost equally fond of his six chicks. The idea of “offing” a young rooster, unthinkable.

However, they are country dwellers living in an unincorporated community with ample acreage around them.

So, today I called and had a chat with my grandson.

“I think it is Rhett the Rhode Island Red,” I told him. “First of all, we gave him a boy’s name, an omen,” I was chuckling again. This was the biggest chick right from the start.

“I think you are right,” said the 10-year-old. “His feet are huge! His comb and wattles are bigger than any of the others. And,” he lowered his voice, “I think he’s growing spurs!”

In the meantime, Dagfinnr is listening and watching for a confirmation crow.

Life is like that, isn’t it? Unexpected things are thrown in our pathway just about the time that we think we have it all figured out. Sometimes those hurdles are truly EMERGENCY status. We lose a job or a loved one. We find ourselves battling illness or with an offer which means relocating that we can’t refuse. Even the best-laid plans can be turned upside down in an instant — like thinking we’ve got half a dozen cute little pullets and then one of them crows.

Resiliency is what we need to cultivate, whether we are 10 or eight times that number.

“A rooster is a good thing to have,” I assured my grandson. “He can help protect the flock. And come spring, maybe Penny (the black Astrolop known for broodiness) will decide to set.”

It’s another day in the country and I find myself wishing that all life’s emergencies were so easy to handle.

Last modified Sept. 7, 2017

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