Forget it. Mabel did not go home today. I woke up this morning and planned the whole thing: feed them first, let Mabel enjoy some outside time, then wait for her to remind me why I was taking her back to the farm, the inevitable squawks and clucks that rise in volume and urgency until I want to run out there and holler at her to shut up! Then load her into the carrier and pile it into the car and deliver her to the farm.
She did none of that. she grazed quietly and dug and scratched and made her perfect little Mabel sounds, almost as if singing to herself. AND she laid an egg. My, my. What is a girl to do? I knew it was futile after she nested quietly up in the nesting box and produced a perfect turquoise-blue egg for me. Geez. This chick is playing hardball. So I left the carrier on the ground–in full view of Mabel’s curious eyes–and left for the barn, light of heart and free of shoulder-weight. Happy.
And as I sit here listening to the neighbors’ dogs howling and barking their silly fool heads off (for at least 30 minutes now), I am confident in my decision. They want to report me for a few random chicken squawks, I will fry their asses, chicken-fry style.