We are lucky enough to live in an area that has lots of backyard farms and as such we are able to get farm fresh eggs. Our eggs come from happy chickens, all of which have their own distinct personalities, their own proper name, and roam free for a better part of their days. I love knowing that the eggs we eat come from chickens that are well cared for. And they taste way better than the anemic looking store bought ones.
Janet lives in the old renovated farm house on the property with her two children and her husband (who, due to the location of his job is only home during the weekends.) She takes care of her children, the flock of about forty chickens, a turkey named Perkins, some rabbits, three dogs, a few barn cats, a pony named Blue and a Clydesdale named Abbey. She is also very type A; everything has its place and should be in it. She actually uses a small tractor with a rake attachment thingy to rake smooth her gravel driveway. Oh, and she hung a chandelier in the horse barn because she had an extra one and thought it would look nice. It does.
Last week when we went to get eggs the boys begged to be let out of the car. I let them out and they went wandering over to a large lop eared bunny who was digging under some bushes. I saw Janet sitting at a small table under a vine covered gazebo writing out instructions for me on how to grill a whole chicken (she started raising and selling broiler chickens and we had ordered two to try them out.) I walk up to her and burst out laughing. On the table in front of her was a bottle of beer with a few sips taken from it and a handgun. There had been some coyotes prowling about and she brought out the gun in case she needed to defend her chickens or herself. The conversation turned to how to grill chickens and out of the corner of my eye I saw Cody and Carter had come over and stand nearby. Next thing I know Cody had scooped up the gun and holding it up asks, “What’s this?” The gun was not loaded, the clip was laying on the table but talk about a stop your heart kind of moment.
I have had the “don’t touch guns” talk with the boys but in retrospect, if they have never seen one, the talk is pretty much meaningless. A real gun looks quite different from the brightly colored plastic water guns my boys know. The boys don’t watch anything that has guns in it unless Curious George, Kipper, or Shaun the Sheep have recently started packing heat.
The whole experience got me thinking about the other talks I have given the boys. The “don’t touch matches” talk is probably over their heads since I don’t ever use matches, I use a fire starter when lighting a fire in our fireplace. Do they know what a match is and how to use it so that I can tell them not to? I doubt it. The “don’t talk to strangers” talk is a big one, the definition of a stranger a slippery thing. The “don’t approach wild animals” talk. Yes, we talk about wild animals as we have had numerous cougar and bear sightings around our town and even at the children’s schools. But if I had to place money on it, I would bet that my boys would be the ones trying to pet or feed the cute rabid raccoon or play with the cuddly cougar.
I don’t want to scare them I just want to keep them safe from anything that could possibly cause them harm. Is that too much to ask?
Excuse me while I go double check the tape that is holding the bubble wrap on my children.