When I tightened security measures after Gwyneth disappeared, along with the six-foot fence, up went the six-foot gates. Funny thing about a shorter gate: after you go through it, you turn around, reach over and fasten the latch to secure it. Well, you can probably see where I'm headed with this. I'm tall, but it would require a real giant to reach over a six-foot gate to secure the latch. I thought about it for an instant, then poked my fingers through the chicken wire and spent two minutes or more coaxing the latch up into its home. Better think that one through again.
|Brand new world|
There are actually two gates. One will stay in whatever position I want, closed or open. The other has no mind of its own. I close it, and its closed. The wind blows, and its open. While I had my head tucked into the coop today, giving it a good overhaul and cleaning, the wind picked up. When I stepped out, the gate was open, and the girls were exploring the untested and untasted beds and lawns they had previously only dreamed about. What a great day for a hen-pen break!
They were safe as long as I was present with chicken chores. So they were free to drift from flower bed to lawn to moss to flower bed, their soft chicken chatter scattered generously about. But now I'm nearly finished--putting a magnetic catch on the mindless gate has to be next of all the Things I get to do today.
|Safer back in the hen pen.|
Two minutes later, I'm ready to go inside. I trill "Girls, Girls" and watch as all five come running at top speed. Without a moment's hesitation, they dart into the hen yard for their treat of rolled oats--extra thick, organic, Bob's Red Mill rolled oats.
|"Snap" goes the gate magnet.|