Halloween in the Middle of Nowhere

I heard a helicopter out there somewhere and was slipping into my orange jump suit while I headed out the door.  The helicopter faded, but I encountered a gathering of cats and chickens as I hopped off the porch.

Hydrox:  “Is that how you’re going to dress for Halloween?”

Me:  “I haven’t given any thought to Halloween.  What are you guys going to do?  Is Halloween something you’re thinking about?  You used to hate it when we were in Placitas.”

Hydrox:  “I don’t knowCoons driving us off the porch every night, you shooting them through the window screen.  Hauling their carcasses out to the meadow on a grain-shovel.  Something BIG carrying them off.  Life’s sort of scary around here.”

Great Speckled Bird:  “That ain’t the half of it.  Coons and skunks trying to dig into the chicken-house every night gives me and the hens a case of the willies.”

Guinea #1:  “You think that’s bad?  What about the possums climbing around up in the trees looking for US?  It’s gotten so we’re flying around blind all night long finding branches in other trees.”

Shiva:  “It’s whatever it is carrying those coon carcasses off that worries me.  If we run out of coons it’s liable to come up here looking for the only thing outside worth eating.  Cats.”

Guinea #2:  “I resent that.”

Me:  “Whoooooah!  What is it you guys want?  I’m doing everything I can think of to keep you safe.”

Long pause.

The Great Speckled Bird:  “How about we have a celebration of Life?  Of surviving this long?  That might be fun.”

Niaid:  “Yeahhh.  That sounds good.  We could pretend we’re coyotes and you could open some of those special treats for us.”

Guinea #1:  “No need for anything special.  You could just open a can of what you give THEM,” gesturing with her beak toward the cats, “We’d love to get some of that.”

Tabby, muttering:  “You guys STEAL enough of that already.  Running us cats off it when he’s not looking!”

Great Speckled Bird:  “Nevermind!  Nevermind.  No point fighting among ourselves.  Let’s keep on track here.  How about you give the cats the special treats, and open some canned cat food for the rest of us?”

Americauna Hen:  “Yeah! Cool.  And we’ll have a big celebration of LIFE before you lock us into the fortress tonight!  Then if a coon or skunk gets in we’ll die happy.”

Guinea #2:  “Or if a possum grabs one of us before we know it’s up there.”

Hydrox:  “Or if whatever-the-hell’s carrying off those coon carcasses comes up here and catches one of us cats.”

The Great Speckled Bird:  “We’ll come knocking before sunset.”

I started pulling off the orange jump suit and opened the door to go inside.  Behind me I heard Niaid, “If he doesn’t do it we’ll dress up as a SWAT team and go after him.”

Tabby:  “What would we get him for?”

Hydrox:  “For being HIM!”

Old Jules



2 responses to “Halloween in the Middle of Nowhere

  1. Great narrative, Old Jules. It’s heartwarming to know that Hallowe’en brought the chickens and cats together in the spirit of “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite,” Vive la Revolution!

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