I hope I never lose my sense of wonder. If that makes me naive, then so be it.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

in which we learn the importance of hearing both sides of a conversation

This post, really, has no important bearing on my life. No nifty cooking experiences or recipe ideas. But it is something that happened, years ago, that makes me giggle when I recall it.

It was several years ago. We'd had laying hens for over a year by then, and our good friends were on their first summer with some. JA called me on my cell one evening, concerned. One of their hens had been sluggish for a few days, then turned up dead. JA was concerned that it might have been a sickness that could spread to the others and asked me, did I know how to tell?

In a strange-but-true bit of farm karma, I had a week before received my Hobby Farm magazine with an article on chicken autopsies. I am not making this up; it really did. And, long ago in a galaxy far, far away, I had earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology (magna cum laude, thank you very much) and had done dissections. So, the idea wasn't too far-fetched.

So after she asked me, I replied that I could help. "When did she die? Okay, can you put her in a fridge somewhere, in a bag? Then you can bring her over and I can have a look."

At this point I realized that the woman to my left at the kids' soccer game was hearing my side of the conversation and had been looking more and more askance at me as the phone call went on. Oops.

(side note: the autopsy showed that the chicken had eaten a nail and that had gotten infected. And I felt pretty good for having solved that, really.)

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