Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The problem with chicken coops...

We The boys and my mother tend some chickens at a neighbors house. It has been a wonderful experience for the boys. Dino especially has really grown through this adventure. He went from a skittish little boy who would cower behind my skirts, to a gentle young man with a passion for animals. He will be able to completely take over this task in a matter of days. He has even lost his fear of dogs. The neighbor got a puppy (german shepherd/husky mix) several months back and Dino now wants Sam to be his dog.

But the chicken coop hasn't always been so kind to our family. A few months ago, my mother went to feed the chickens and took my niece who visiting at the time. Sally, who was only 3 1/2 at the time, is not a fan of animals. But she wanted to go have fun with Nanny. The coop has an outer entrance and area that is the size of a large closet. Mom went in and shut the door. She got the feed and then opened the small door and went in to the chickens. Sally, frightened as the chickens came close for the food, slammed the door shut behind mom. Slammed the door with automatically locking lock, with no release on the inside. Ummm, yeah, my mom was not impressed. She tried to dig her way out of the coop for over an hour before being rescued. And Sally was hysterically crying the whole time. But by the time they got out and cleaned up, all was well and the story has gone into family lore status.

But today, well, today the lore vault got opened again when mom and Dino went to tend to the chicks. Dino walked in with some scraps. Mom went to get the feed, and he went on into the coop ahead of her. When she turned right after him, she looked down before she stepped down. And then she screamed. There was a black snake against the side of the wall running the length of the coop. Dino had stepped over it on his way in. Yikes! And when mom screamed, Dino turned, saw the snake, screamed and started crying. My poor baby! Mom is standing there knowing that there is no way she's going to step over a snake but no way she can leave Dino stranded. She took her phone, which she had started carrying after the incident with Sally, and called up to the neighbor's house. Beverly answered and when she heard said "Ralph will be right there." While waiting, mom picked up a metal bar and shooed the snake away. Then Dino ran to her and they stayed in the outer room. Dino wanted to go home but mom said they had to wait to tell Ralph where the snake was. He came and took care of the snake. Once it was "taken care of", he measured it and it was a hefty 4'2" long. Phew.

Now, Dino doesn't want to go back into the coop again. But tomorrow, he is going to go back and we're going to do our best to help him through it. He is growing so much lately, in stature and in faith and maturity, that I know he will be fine. He just has to go do it. We did look up a scripture to help.
Luke 10:19  Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Tomorrow we will know if he took the words to heart.

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