Chix Come Runnin’


He stands on the slate hearth with his back to the burning woodstove plucking his glittery bass guitar.  Our Twenty Something son is on winter break and practicing for the first gig of his new cover band.  They principally do Red Hot Chili Peppers music.  He slaps and sings and, suddenly, whistles — “uuu-eeeeeee!” — which wakes up Ruby and makes me laugh.  Loudly.  He halts quickly.  I rush out from the kitchen laughing.

“Sheesh,” says our son.  He has tremendous vocal abilities (heck, he got the lead in “Oklahoma” in high school) and I love to hear him serenade as I work.  Apparently, though, this whistle is part of his act and not intended to be hysterical.

“Ruby is almost deaf,” I point out.  “But your whistling got through!”

He accepts this explanation for my hilarity, and then the Bearded One emerges from the den where he has been happily watching football.  It is a miracle we get the channel, especially since the Bearded One bumped the antenna when he was cleaning moss and cedar branches off the roof this week.


The guys exchange game score information, and I go back to washing and chopping a cabbage.  It’s a Second Best cabbage from the root cellar, but that’s just because it’s small.  It’s perfect for cole slaw to go with our chili.

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The Bearded One adds a log to the woodstove and our son steps toward his disassembled amp spread over the living room floor.  He and the Bearded One talk about the cover piece that doesn’t fit snugly enough for the travel it’ll be doing when the band Cherry Green hits the road.


Then they begin talking about famous bassists and the 2 and 3-finger technique, and I stand at the kitchen sink and think about running my fingers through Sage’s thick fleece this morning.

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I stay out of their conversation until I hear that the new band of four engineering students plans to strip at the end of the act (wearing only strategically placed socks…) like the Red Hot Chili Peppers famously did back in the 90s.

“Will you wear makeup?” I ask.  “You know, like KISS?”

Both of them look at me, stunned.  Somehow, this, too, is not quite on the mark.  He needs encouragement.  He needs a sign that he will not make a fool of himself, that he will play well and be acknowledged appropriately.  You know — a rock god.

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So when the two of us leave for a late afternoon walk with Ruby — the Bearded One stays home to watch the end of the game — I look forward to being helpful.  I ask about when he hopes his knee will be re-habbed enough to play his beloved Ultimate Frisbee?  February.  He asks me about how to make chili, and I tell him.  He tells me how he has instituted kitchen towels and dish cloths, two of each, at his house of college boys.  I laugh.


He is so dang cute, even though he got his hair cut again.  And shaved his gorgeous beardlet.  He says he hopes to add another engineering class, so with French, he’ll have five classes.  He’s 3-1/2 years through a 5 year engineering program.

His plate is full, we agree, but he’s up to it.  And, about Cherry Green’s first gig — “Hey,” I say, “a little apprehension is good.  You’ll see, all the babes will rush from the stands to give you smooches.”


We get home and I retrieve the pot of leftover morning oatmeal from where I left it on the driveway.  I explain that it’s for the chickens, that it is how we get them to head into the aviary at night.  Otherwise it’s impossible, like herding cats.  Only the attraction principle has a prayer.  As we walk up the tractor trail in the darkening woods, I tell him to just bang the pot — there’s a spoon inside.  He laughs and doesn’t think I’m serious, I can tell.

Then he begins to slap the spoon, the two-finger technique.  And, sure enough, from all corners of the goat pasture, clucking and calling and flapping, the banties and the huge Ameraucanas alike — the chix come running.



11 responses to “Chix Come Runnin’

  1. Heh. I only have one question: how come the beard is not represented in the Bearded One’s stick figures?

  2. He drew the beard once and rejected it, J.K. I liked it myself, but he is the Art Director as well as Editor ‘n Cheep. What can I the lowly Writer do?? 🙂

  3. Christine Widman

    Love the “chicks” running to the lure of a spoon tapping pot tune.
    Heavy Metal, man!
    We have a musician son too. Long red hair flowing-Intense blue eyes and intense personality-Scottish/Viking DNA-White rapper.
    lololol “….like KISS? Somehow this, too, is not quite on the mark.”
    Wishing them both…songs flowing….rock god wonder.
    Here’s to them both:
    ‘”Keep on rockin’ in the free world!”

    • Ah, Christine, yes, the first white rapper. If anyone could do it, it’s your red-haired son. 🙂 I like thinking about how music has kept him sane through life; I’m seeing that love in Austin, too. It’s a really good thing. Love you.

  4. Ahhhh the chicks! We have our chicks and the boys have theirs! ;)…Steve did end up with a bolshie old hen from the antipodeans, however, so hopefully your wonderful 20 something beardletless son is able to garner himself a goodn’ from amongst all the starry eyed groupies ;). Sounds like your chooks love a bit of Californication there Christi…must be the remnants of your Southern heritage ;). I am going to give away 6 of our 10 chickens to someone wanting to boost their flock and might hunt down some araucana’s for their lovely green eggs to replace them and delight Big Yin who has awoken from his caged coma to a newfound desire to lustily repoulate the entire coop! I wonder if the next spoon that your son taps on the side of that porridge (oatmeal) pot might come from Serendipity Farm? 🙂

    • Ha! Fran, I think he was playing Hump de Bump, actually. There are clearly pots and pans in that one, I’ve heard it. 🙂 And we are soooo excited to get the Tasmanian spoons! They are gorgeous and with their lovely orange oil, I might just eat one. We have 2 Amerucanas/Araucanas, Jane and Cheetah, and they are great layers. Jane’s eggs are a bit darker shade of green than Cheetah’s. Does Big Yin have a pot and spoon??:)

      • Big Yin has “gone” to pot since we enclosed him into their new run and has decided to repopulate the earth with his kin. We have a hen (one of Effel Doocarks girls) with 7 babies down at the bottom of the property (that was hunkered down when we were rounding them up) and 3 ferals, a little girl and 2 roosters still outside the coop. Effel Doocark isn’t well…she is laying down and is very still and we don’t think she has long for this world :(. We are giving 6 of the small babies away tomorrow and have to catch them and sort out which are girls and which are boys. We have a pretty good idea because the boys all look like stryders from Star Wars ;). I want to inject some new blood into the coop with a couple of araucanas. Here they are a special breed (like our Wyandottes…also American) and will cost a bit but in the spirit of keeping Serendipity Farm a bit on the eccentric side I feel we need to only purchase unusual breeds so one day we have the most amazingly crazy chooks here possible! Spoons will be on their way Tuesday as that is Steve’s day to shop in town and I will let you know when they are sent so you can look out for them 🙂

  5. This is one of your most poignant and enchanting blog yet…your wisdom and symbiotic farmlet relationship shine through…love it! OH, and the kitchen towel stick boys…so dang cute!

  6. Thank you so much, Suzanne. Blush.:) And I laughed at that drawing when I saw it, too. It’s funny how our boy is leading his fellows out of college-boy squalor…except during finals, of course. Love you! 🙂

  7. Such connection! Love it!

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