Runaway

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I should have realized it was going to be a weird day when I pulled up to work this morning and there was a bomb squad truck out front.  Nothing truly scary...an abandoned package at the adjoining highway patrol office--a false alarm.  But then the Kiddo didn't take an afternoon nap at daycare.  He was apparently happy all day, just not sleepy.  

And--because oddities come in threes--then I got home and found this lady in my front yard.  

She's not one of mine, just in case you don't know my flock by sight.  She was quite pretty though.  She was also obviously a little scared, and not without good cause.  With all the dogs in the neighborhood, she was all set to become a chicken nugget without prompt action.

So, with the Kiddo pinned to my hip, I began attempting to herd her into our backyard.  Two neighbors quickly joined the chase (because, really, catching a chicken one-handed is not-so-possible), and we eventually caught her and tossed her in with my ladies.

(To the experienced chicken keepers, yes, I know...quarantine, stupid.  I wasn't thinking with my thinking parts.)

Once introduced to the flock, the newbie (we'll call her Cherie--points to the person who gets it) proceeded to terrorize Etta, who hid behind Tori as fast as possible.  Then she cornered Joni and Gladys.  Joni made a break for it and escaped, but Gladys  just stood there and squawked until I chased Cherie away.  At one point my flock (of six!) was standing in a corner and Cherie had conquered the coop.  Although it's probably bad manners, I was a little proud when Bonnie (bless her 80's rocker chick heart) finally broke the huddle and harassed wee Cherie so that the rest of the girls could get to the food.

Cherie had been with us for about an hour when (just as I was taking some pictures for her "FOUND" poster), her owner knocked on our back gate.  I think both she and her owner were very relieved to be reunited.  And while I would have kept her on looks alone, I think my girls were very relieved to see our runaway go back to her home.