Today was a perfect day for a project I have been putting off for way too long; staining the chicken coop addition. I woke up to a beautiful Southern morning with temps in the 50’s and a bright Carolina blue sky.
I put on my favorite work sweatshirt that has a history of its own. It has sailed across oceans, kept me warm while watching high school softball games and has been stained by everything from chicken blood to the black tar used to repair the split Live Oak tree during last winter’s ice storm. Today, chicken coop stain will add another chapter to its story.
I’ve selected a classic 80’s playlist for today’s project. I want something loud and lively. I head to the barn to mix some Martha Stewart gold glitter into the gallon cans of Barn Red Stain because it adds a touch of pizzazz!
As I walk to the chicken yard the hens and roosters sense the excitement and clamor towards me, making it nearly impossible to swing my leg over the poultry netting without stepping on them. I think they are under the impression that this will be a group project.
True to their personalities, they interact with me in their own distinct ways. Taylor Swift stands at my feet, looking up while waiting to be picked up. When I don’t, she appears hurt and sulks inside to pout on the roost. The White Orpingtons are aloof so they keep me at a distance, but still manage to get in my way. The Rhode Island Reds jump and peck at my paint can the same way that they peck at my hands when I hang freshly filled chicken feed in the coop. I find them terribly annoying. The rooster, Fabio, keeps a close eye on me from inside the coop. He follows me from window to window as I make my way around outside. He only stops when he needs to regain order. This time the call for help comes from one of the nest boxes. As usual one of the “pretty girls” an Americauna is hogging the box and one of the “blondies” a Buff Orpington wants to get in to lay an egg. Fabio stomps around in circles while clucking in an admonishing tone until Pretty Girl reluctantly gives up her spot.
Just then Culture Club comes on. Instantly the chicken yard becomes my dance floor and the chickens become my dance partners. The paintbrush becomes my mike and Boy George and I take off on a spirited rendition of “Church of the Poison Mind”. I dance. I strut. I wave that microphone around like it’s my job. I friggin own that imaginary stage.
I come back to reality as the song ends and I look around to discover that the chickens may be all different breeds, with their own unique characteristics and personalities, but they now share one thing in common…..they are all splattered with a polka dot pattern of red stain and just a touch of Martha Stewart glitter.