Communing with Nature…It just isn’t Natural

Okay, I’ll say it: communing with nature may be more than advertised.
This morning I began the day singing a little song, thinking of my tiny chicks, wishing they trusted me, or at least didn’t run and hide whenever I go in their coop to feed them.
Or maybe it’s my dog. He’s huge. I don’t trust him, I don’t expect the birds to.
Or the wind. They apparently don’t trust the wind, either, because the slightest breeze can send bird feet reeling.
Okay, I have neurotic birds, equally unsurprising because my ranch is home to the prairie’s weirdest animals; another story, another time.
Anyway, the sun rose, the Bubs went to school; it was time to Be One with the Animals of the Chicken Variety. BUT. It’s also Thursday, which means I have two-and-a-half hours of Me Time before I go to work, and what do I do in my Me Time?
I watch Netflix.
Yes, commune with the birds. Yes, build trust. But also, Yes to Netflix, because fortunately, the internet is accessible within so many yards of the house.
Oh, and also Yes to a portable stool, because sitting inside with chickens is a nasty business.
Me. Stool. iPad. And a Dr. Pepper, because, I’m me.
I sat. I shielded the opening so that the dogs could see me but not reach me or eat Avian for breakfast. I opened the iPad and clicked on the Netflix and while it buffered and opened the app, I awaited my flock to adore me.
Well.
I have a rude flock. They ran as though on fire.
Fine. Whatever. My feelings were not hurt because I had Netflix and it was loading my chosen show and the mellifluous tones of its opening music soothed me and, surprisingly, like the flute of the Piper, it wooed the birds. Beaks first, they broke pack rules and one by one ascended toward my feet.
Sure it could have been the music but I’m betting it was the Raisin Bran I wantonly threw toward the ingrates I wanted so very much to like me.
It worked, so lesson learned: bribery pays. I learned that from having Bubs.
Okay, so picture the birds adoringly hopping at my feet, dogs slobbering from behind — probably wishing they, too, were allotted a portion of Raisin Bran — and iPad in my hand thoughtlessly playing video at my command.
Good morning.
Boring, boring morning.
Fifteen minutes of communing was all I needed.
Why? Because birds and dogs are loud.
How many times did I hit the 10-second replay button? I don’t know. I tried to shush things: “Hush, dog; stop chirping, brown one; do not poop there, spotted one; this is a no squawking zone; dog, if you don’t stop panting in my ear, you will be a rug by afternoon.”
Again and again with the 10-second refresh.
Not wanting my fifty-minute program to swallow seventy-four minutes of my Me Time, I brushed the now loving chicks away from my soiled shoes, snapped my squatty red stool up by its handle. and petulantly swept out of the coop and into the house.
I was huffy. And my shoes were soiled. And I hadn’t followed my video at all, so all of my Me Time had been squandered on trying to earn fowl love.
The birds liked me, but I wasn’t so sure of my adoration of them.
Three dogs were following me like I was a giant chew toy, mostly because I still carried a half bag of Raisin Bran.
And I’d lost the thread of my story, so I’ll have to start all over again next Thursday during Me Time, that I will not be sharing with other living things, thank you very much.
Sigh. This ranching stuff is hard.

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