Negotiating with Cookies – Free Range

I’m sleeping in on Sunday morning when I hear a faint clicking sound coming down the hall toward the bedroom. Fleegle is snoring on the bed so it can’t be him. I’m contemplating a stray Chihuahua coming through Fleegle’s dog door when I look up to see Georgina, Fleegle’s chicken, loose in the house.

I nudge Fleegle awake. “Why is your chicken out of her pen?”

“Raud, she’s not an industrial chicken kept in a coop. She’s free range, her egg was brown.”

“But is she house-trained?”

“House-training is overrated.”

“Not if I’m in my bare feet.”

“But Raud, in chicken years she’s old enough to drive.”

Georgina jumps up onto the bed and starts poking at Fleegle’s fur for what, I’m afraid to imagine.

“Not poop on the bed too,” I say. “She’s gotten big fast.”

She looks out the window, sees the sun and clears her throat. Moments later the bedroom reverberates with, “Cock-a-doodle-doo.”

With palms pressed against my ears, I look at Fleegle. “So Georgina is a cockerel, not a hen.”

“Now you can appreciate my brilliance in naming George, Georgina.”


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Negotiating with Cookies – More Chickie Puffs

Fleegle trots over to where I’m sitting at my desk and nose bumps my leg. “Raud, let’s go to the feed store.”


“I don’t know, it’ll be fun.”

I stare at him, waiting for the full reason.

His ears go back. “Georgina is running low on Chickie Puffs.”

“No way. How can a three ounce chick eat her way through a five pound bag of Chickie Puffs in just two weeks?”

He avoids eye contact and says, “I’ve been teaching her to share.”

“Oh, have you now.”

“And Buck likes Chickie Puffs too.”

“Uh-huh, anyone else?”

“Well… You. You’ve been eating them every morning this week. I replaced some of your oatmeal with Chickie Puffs.”

“Replaced? You’ve been eating my oatmeal? Dry?”

“Yeah, you said horse ate oats and they have such long legs I thought your oatmeal would make me taller.” He looks down at his legs, then up at my face. “You enjoyed your Chickie Puffs this morning, didn’t you? Maybe we should get a ten pound bag this time.”


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Negotiating with Cookies – The Chicken or the Egg

Fleegle nudges me awake with his cold wet nose. “It’s hatching, Raud, the egg under my pillow is hatching.”

“What?” I say, reaching for the light. “That’s impossible.”

“I knew getting you to switch to free range eggs would do the trick.”

At three something in the morning, Fleegle and I stare captivated at the brown egg as little bits of shell come loose from it until a tiny beak appears through a small hole, followed by a feathered head.

“It’s clear the egg comes before the chicken,” Fleegle says as the chick climbs free from its shell and waddles to Fleegle for his warmth. He nuzzles it against his belly. “I bet it’s hungry. What do chickens eat?”

“I’ve no idea. I’ve been too busy eating them.”

Fleegle gives me a look. “Well, you better find out. It’s almost time for breakfast and what is the chicken going to think if on its first day here you’ve got nothing for him to eat? How about my kibble? Do you think it would like that? I sure like it.”


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