All the men are away for the weekend. Just me this morning, and Buddy (the dog), and the chores that need to be done. This morning I discover that when it comes to chores, Buddy is not much help.

As I’m waking up this morning I remember that before he left, Lyndon reminded me that we are almost out of chicken feed. He has an old water heater in the chicken pen that he keeps the stuff in, so I am hopeful there will be enough to get me through the morning. How much do eighty chickens and ten turkeys eat, after all?

As I leave the house, I grab the scrap pail to take out to the birds. Might as well; I’m going that way. I stop to let Buddy off his lead. He jumps up and knocks the pail out of my hand, scattering banana peels and leftover porridge all over the grass. He scarfs down his now-claimed breakfast, and rushes through the gate into the pasture, where the goats are standing and looking at me.

Who are you, they seem to be asking, and what have you done with the guy who knows what he’s doing?

Buddy begins a game of chase-the-goats, and I continue on to the chicken pen. When I take the lid off the feed container, I see some grain at the bottom. I tip the container on its side and practically crawl inside it to reach the feed. The chickens and turkeys are swarming, like horror show swarming, and clucking and making this strange growling sound that I’m sure means, come on guys, there’s a hundred of us and only one of her, we can take her. I’m expecting to be pecked to death at any moment and my family will come home on Sunday afternoon and find me dead in the chicken pen with my head in the feed pail.

Thankfully, against all odds, I manage to scratch out some feed and scatter it for the complaining birds, and turn around to see goats in the pen.

Oops, forgot to close the door.

Now there’s a goats vs chickens vs turkeys war breaking our. I call Buddy to try to help me herd the goats out of the pen. He just looks at me. I try pushing a goat or two, but for every one I push away, another rushes over to fill her spot. The chickens and turkeys are frantic as they watch their food disappear.

I whisper a promise to the birds that I will return later with more food, and leave them to it. I fill the pails and my shoes with water, check for eggs, and finally (whew!) I’m done.

Buddy walks back to the house with me, and begs to come inside. He’s not really supposed to, but, bad mommy that I am, I let him. He crashes on the living room floor, exhausted.

Poor puppy, he worked so hard.