Normally, I’m the faithful type.
A sentry at heart, I know my duties. I’m familiar with my territory. I regularly mark its boundaries and am the first to respond to any perceived threat.
I sound the alarm to those I’m bound to protect, and issue a warning to any stranger approaching my turf.
Aside from the occasional run in the park or stroll along the riverbank, this is my life.
My reward is a warm bed, a regular meal, and the companionship of my charge. A rare, bone-shaped “cookie” tells me I’ve done something exceptional.
I’m also the curious type.
When someone leaves the back gate open, what’s a fella to do?
I cautiously scan the area and notice a garden, some tools and implements. An intriguing wooden structure squats in the shade of the far corner.
I proceed into this new realm, slinking jackal-like, following my nose. A momentary awareness that I’ve left my post prompts a quick glance back.
Alas, curiosity and adventure win out, as I hone in on the shed.
Nose to the ground, I make two circuits around the place. There is definitely something inside, alive and warm. Overcome with pride at my discovery, I lift a leg to stake my claim.
Before I can open the valve, the little house explodes with such a commotion, I leave my feet with surprise and fear. Returning to earth, I gather my thoughts and try to sort this thing out.
Jibber-jabber, cluck, cluck. It’s as if a normal male function somehow triggered a great protest.
I must know more about the occupants of this structure. A knothole provides my next opportunity. Nose-first, I investigate the interior. The smell of straw…feathers…femininity and…OUCH! They must have knives!
Their cackling almost sounds like laughter.
A nostalgic thought of my comfy, old familiar haunts brings a wistful stare at the gate…
But once again, adventure – and now danger – pique my curiosity. I’m goin’ in!
With all the natural athletic ability I possess, I leap the wire fence, stride across the pen and insert my head through the tiny door.
What interesting creatures! Some redheads, some blond, some brunette, some speckled. Strutting around like they own the place. And their features: crowns like royalty, wings to fly, soft feathery robes and…and…TALONS!
Before I have time to feel the inevitable pain, I am over the fence and through the gate, tail appropriately between the legs.
It’s an interesting lot, over there in the henhouse. They just seem to gab all day long and every now and then one will make a big fuss over some great achievement. They seem like a social bunch alright, but don’t be taking a nosy, pushy attitude over there. You’ll feel the pain.
Me? I think I’ll just keep to my own yard. I’d rather face bullies, thugs, and burglars any day.
-originally written January, 2009