(such a great sensorial activity, especially for my girl who spends most of her day reading)
and a discussion of what is probably my kids favorite thing ever:
|giddy with anticipation|
|gotta throw a rock over the right limb--tricky, tricky!|
|just swinging on the rock was pretty fun|
|putting tubing around chain to protect tree limbs and kiddo fingers|
|drilling eye hooks into the tire|
|hooking the tire to the chain using locking carabiners|
and, because a new toy is nothing until it's a comedy prop
Thank goodness for a happy new toy, because our home is all about the drama today--the girls and I came home from letterboxing this afternoon to find a notice on our door from Animal Care and Control, saying that one of our neighbors had complained of a "chicken smell."
I'm not being one of THOSE people when I tell you that there is no such smell; the chickens were at a friend's being chicken-sat through Sunday, and I swear that even if the animal control officer had jumped into her car and raced over the second that she got a complaint this afternoon, four chickens can't put up a smell in three days.
Also, we take care of them.
Unfortunately, we are absolutely in the wrong in that, although we sent in our application for a chicken coop, Animal Control hasn't contacted us to set up an inspection yet, but I've been letting the chicks spend time in their new outdoor coop anyway to get used to being outside, knowing full well that having chickens without a permit is expressly forbidden. And so, I imagine when the control officer came by and saw no one home, she took herself a little stroll around our house, and what did she spy with her own eyes?
Yep. Four chickens in an unlicensed coop, duly noted on our form.
Seriously, though--what happened to just saying to your spouse, "Do our neighbors have chickens? What's up with that? I'm uncomfortable with the idea of chickens. Are they even allowed to have chickens? I know! I'll go over and talk with them about their chickens! I'll express any concerns that I have, share my fears that chickens will smell, and hear their answers!"
Wouldn't that be a nicer course of action than saying something like, "Our neighbors have chickens! I hate and fear that! I'm going to call Animal Control and report them! But what if they're allowed to have chickens? I know! I'll make up a lie and say they smell! Then they'll get in trouble, and maybe those dreadful chickens will go away!
So Matt called the animal control officer's phone number left on the form, especially since she told him "to call ASAP," got no answer, and left a message. And the chicks are still in their coop, although now I'm wondering if I should squeeze them back into their brooder. Or borrow a bigger brooder from my friends. Or write a letter to all our neighbors mentioning how clean our illegal chicken coop is and how fresh it smells. Or give the boy chicks back to my other friend so that we're only keeping two illegal chickens, not four. Or put the chicks back in the brooder, clean the coop out, and deny ever having chicks in the coop just in case she didn't actually see them, after all.
I do NOT like unresolved issues. I like clarity, and a clear course of action. I like neighbors who discuss potential issues before calling up The Man. I like animal control officers who, after instructing someone to phone them, answer their phone.
Here's hoping that this time tomorrow, I'll also be saying, "I like how Animal Care and Control responded so quickly and was so willing to help us solve our problem, and how they handled our violation in a non-punitive manner! I like how we found a basket of muffins on our porch this morning with a note that read, 'I'm sorry I lied about your chickens. I actually love them. Of course they don't smell.'"
It's just as likely to happen as not, right?