The Simple Life: An Ecological Misnomer
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I nished lling the feeder and pushed on the door to get out. It didn’tbudge.
I pushed again with my shoulder. The door gave just a bitat my shoulder but not at all near my hip, where the rotating woodenlatch was located.
he couldn’t have . . .
Turns out that he did. I was locked inside the chicken house by acloven-hooved prankster. In the middle of the pasture in front of thecabin. I somehow doubted the likelihood of Pet returning to end thejoke—it seemed that he had already delivered the punch line and was inthe shade ruminating on the genius of its delivery. It was the rst time I’dever envisioned cattle snickering—they’re just not that prone to beingself-congratulatory, in my experience.
How am I going to get out of this one with both my dignity and the henhouse intact?
I wondered. I knew that I could denitely push hardand break the latch, but I hated to tear up the new exterior siding onthe coop. On the other hand, it beat telling anyone what had happened,much less calling for help from inside a chicken coop. Besides, there wasonly one person available to call, and she already had enough dirt on mewithout adding this story to the collection.About that time, Erin stepped out of the cabin to visit the outhouse.I let her go in and take care of business while I decided whether I reallywanted her help. By the time she slammed the outhouse door shut, I’ddecided that I would rather bear the brief humiliation to follow thanspend time xing the latch. Plus, I knew I’d still have to tell her what hadhappened at some point. It was just one more unexpected incident in ourgrowing litany of homesteading adventures.“Erin,” I shouted, “could you please come over here?”“Come over where? Where are you?” she asked, looking downtoward the vacant pasture, seeing Pet but not me.“Here—in the chicken house.”“What do you need me in the chicken house for?” She was mildlyirritated, since it meant changing from her clogs to her boots.“Ummm, to let me out,” I replied, somewhat cowed.“What do you mean, let you out?”“Pet locked me in.” I was wishing that I could mumble it instead of saying it loudly enough for any stray hikers to hear.Erin doesn’t burst out laughing that often, but this time her laughterbolted out and echoed back—any pride I had disappearing with its brief reverberation.
UTR final pgs 1034/8/10 9:39 AM