Sometimes I wish I knew what the animals think.

Tonight we had one of those “what were you thinking?!” moments.

Occasionally we open the courtyard gate and let the chickens free range the barnyard. These last few days we’ve let them have fun pecking around the barnyard and the cow stalls. They also often hop the gate and scratch around the pig pen. They’re handy to control weeds in the courtyard, clean up some spilled feed and help with bug control.

Tonight as most of the chickens were headed in to roost in the chicken coop, a few decided to test their luck in the pig’s wallow hole.

By the time the sun set and the Old Man got home late from his day job we had a half dozen chickens stuck in the mud.

So with flashlight and muck boots and the oversight of the Old Man, the boy waded up to his knees in muck and set each bird free one by one. A few were in good shape and flapped their wings and headed for the coop. A few were so weighed down with mud they couldn’t much move. We hosed them down as best we could and left them for the night in the courtyard to dry out.

I’m a bit worried about them so I’m sure I’ll be out early to check on how they cleaned up and faired the night.

Stupid chickens. Their free-range privileges have been revoked.

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