The chickens had an emergency Friday night, at least, according to them.
We normally leave their coop door open all day. Among other things, during this dark part of the year, it allows them to put themselves to bed about 5:30 when the sky gets dusky. Then when I get home from work, all I have to do is close and lock the door behind them.
Friday night, the Kid and I stopped at the library on the way home, so we were a little late. As it was stormy and overcast that day, I fully expected the ladies to be cooped up. But when I stepped into the backyard Tori and Gladys came bolting towards me. I didn't have to be very fluent in chicken to understand exactly what they were saying--"Help! Help! Emergency! Help!"
I found Bonnie and Joni waiting at the coop door, which had blown shut preventing them from entering. As soon as I opened it, Tori, Gladys, and Bonnie went straight in and were dozing within seconds.
Poor Joni, on the other hand, could not get into the coop. She kept trying to jump up on the ramp to get inside, but it was dark enough that she couldn't really see it. After a few misses, I was finally able to coax her to walk up the ramp correctly.
But where was Etta? By that time it was dark enough that I was having trouble seeing, but it seemed there was an out of place dark shape nestled up near our shed. Poor little Etta had plastered herself to the wall, and was cowering against the mist and wind. With extremely little struggle, she let me scoop her up and she nestled down between my chest and my arm as I carried her over and snuggled her into a nest box next to Bonnie. (I often find them sleeping together there.)
I have to say, it feels good to be a hero now and then, even if only to my chickens.