A few weeks ago, the kids and I went to a local farm to pick up some fresh produce, let me shop for more plants to kill, and to introduce them to more animals.
After purchasing a couple pounds of jalapenos, which resulted in Cooper having a complete meltdown because I wouldn’t let him eat them as he was placing them into our shopping bag, we went outside to go look at the chickens.
The farm had a fairly sizable chicken run, with more chickens than I could count while preventing my kids from throwing bits of gravel at the birds. After a few minutes, one of the several roosters had had enough of my featherless chickens making eyes at his lady-chickens and started crowing as loud as sin. This, apparently began a whole domino effect of all the other roosters to start showing off and crowing in order to keep the perceived rivals away from their ladies. It almost worked, as both Gavin and Cooper began to back away from the fence, until we were invited by the farmer to come in and see the babies and I dragged both children into the confines of the chicken run against their will.
Most of the chickens and roosters ignored us once we were in their midst, but there was one rooster who kept giving Cooper the evil eye, so I picked him up lest I needed to choke a chicken and be banned from further visits to the farm. Even though I was carrying Cooper into the chicken coop, where the babies were being kept, the rooster stayed nearby and Cooper continued to watch the bird warily.
As we walked in the coop, the farmer broadly gestured to all the hens plucking and scratching about and proclaimed, “these are your egg-layers”, then gestured towards the babies and said, “and these are your chicken nuggets!” I laughed while Gavin looked confused and Cooper continued to watch the rooster. The farmer continued on, “these guys are ‘roasters’ and are too little to be out on their own right now. Once they’re bigger, we can let ’em loose in the other pen and they’ll be considered ‘free range’ chickens.” I smiled and nodded appreciatively, thinking I may need to compare his chicken prices to that of what I was paying in the grocery store.
While I was thinking about a fresh-roasted chicken dinner, I hefted Cooper onto the other hip and, since that sort of placed him closer to his new arch-nemesis, he whined. Hearing that, I thanked the farmer for showing us a closer look of the chickens, and started heading out of the pen. He offered us some feed to give to the goats, and the kids happily obliged in giving dried corn to the very large and greedy Mountain Goats*. Yes, my kids are afraid of small birds that frequently end up on their dinner plates, but were more than happy to stick their corn-laden hands into the mouths of two several-hundred pound beasts sporting lots of teeth, slurpy tongues, ginormous curled horns, and poop dingle-berries on their butts.
We finished our visit by waving at the cow who refused to budge from her shady spot, and strapping a screeching Cooper into his carseat for a noisy ride home.
A few days later, I was picking the kids up from daycare and Cooper was showing me the red cardinal he had colored earlier that day.
Cooper: wooky, Mommy! Biwd!
Me: yes! that is a bird, good job!
Cooper: Mommy! Wed!
Me: Yes, you’re right! It is red!
Cooper (stage whispers as he stares intently at his artwork): chicky-nugget
Cooper’s teacher and I looked at each other like “did you hear that???” and busted up laughing. Gavin, who had been doing one of his goofy “I’m tired of waiting and have unboundless energy” dances a few feet away, asked what we were laughing about. We told him and he laughed as well. Although he thought it was funny that Cooper thought you could make chicken nuggets from a cardinal when everyone knows chicken nuggets come from chickens.
A couple weeks after that, Justin was playing the guitar, accompanying the kids singing “Old MacDonald”, and taking animal requests. My cousin, Jill, and her family happened to be visiting, so we had a nice variety of animals to sing about, like a cow, a pig, a horse, a dog, and then Cooper’s request of chicky-nugget.
Justin said the hard part was what imitating what sound a chicken nugget might make.