Not long ago, Rachel visited us on the farm. She brought Arianna, Eli and Wyatt — Daddy Dave had the day to himself to work on his motorcycle. The plan for us was to play with our three grandchildren while Mommy was busy taking photos of other people. I was ecstatic with this arrangement.
Arianna and Eli will be five in August, and Wyatt is five months. We planned on playing outside a lot of the time, but things changed. Wyatt had one of his rare unhappy days and only wanted his mommy — poor boy was teething.
While I dealt with Wyatt in the house, other family members entertained the twins outside. They got to swing and ride in the cart with Aunt Rebecca and their cousin Serenity.
When it came time for Wyatt's nap, he only wanted Mommy. Lucky for us, he relaxed and went to sleep.
I had time outside with Arianna and Eli, too. "Can we feed the chickens?" they wanted to know — I had forgotten that I had told them we would give our flock a special treat.
We cut some grapes in half and headed outside for some fun. Usually, I can call "chick, chick, chick," and our birds come running, but not this day. In fact, they were hiding from us — I had not realized something had scared them a little earlier.
I had Eli and Arianna stay by me in the shade as we tried to coax the chickens closer. We tossed a few grapes so the birds knew we had the treat. Only one hen ventured out of their hiding place, and even she wouldn't come close. What a disappointment.
Since my chickens are usually friendly, I went in the shed where they were hiding and tried to get them to come to me. Arianna hurried past me toward the birds, and they ran out of the shed, taking cover under a bush in the yard.
We tried again to entice them with the grapes, but they would only come to the edge of the bush. The chickens were having a bad day, too, but I can't blame their mood on teething.
I loudly told Arianna not to go under the bush and chase the chickens — it's a tall yew so she easily fit, but I was afraid she'd get scratched.
Arianna's feelings were hurt — grandmas are not supposed to yell. She left the bush and sat down by the shed with her head down — now I felt like a meanie.
It didn't take long before Arianna was her old self. This time she found the chickens by their house, but she hadn't brought any grapes. One hen came up to her and pecked her hand, thinking she had food.
Yeow! Arianna ran into the house. I went after her. Our poor little girl wasn't happy with that hen. She showed me where it pecked her. Luckily, there was hardly a mark.
Again we ventured outside. (Meanwhile, Eli and Grandpa Bob were looking for the groundhog that lives in our barn.) This time we stayed away from the chickens. As we walked near the barn, there was movement in the grass. It was a little tree frog.
That tree frog didn't have a chance if the chickens spotted it. I decided to catch it so I could relocate it farther from the barn.
Boy, that frog was fast. It got past me a couple of times, almost taking me into a stinging nettle plant. Finally, I cupped my hand over it and caught it.
Arianna was delighted. She thought the frog was cute. She even came with me to the other side of the house where we set the frog free.
Who could have guessed a slippery frog would be more interesting than a chicken? No matter, I was just glad Arianna was happy again and the frog was safe.