Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chickens in the Trees

Most of North Punty is sleeping soundly. 

Pepe (Li’l Einstein’s older brother and part owner of a backhoe) and Raul (his friend and part owner of a backhoe) are joy riding the back roads looking for trouble they can ill afford to find. 
They are both on the far side of tipsy and should not be behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, or even in one.

Pepe: Stop quick, Raul. I wanna to read that sign.

*Screeeeeech* (Car stops leaving trail of rubber.)

Raul: What sign? Oh, that one: “Free Chickens.”

Pepe: Yup. C’mon- I know just how to get back at that snooty judge for that last DUI warning. I am so over community service. Two hundred hours of cleanin’ dog kennels at the animal sanctuary. I never wanna see a dog again. And I weren’t drinkin’ no more then than I is now. Haw haw haw. C’mon.

They exit the vehicle and stagger to the crates of chickens. Following some semi-lucid deliberation they each procure two chickens and miraculously manage to secure the crates. They stagger back to the vehicle amidst much clucking and fluttering of wings from 4 upside down chickens.

Raul: Where we puttin’ these birds fer the ride back? They sure be noisy! We cain’t be driving through town with this squawkin’ and flappin’. It’d give away the plan…

Pepe: (*Click* trunk opens) Just toss ‘em in here. 

Raul: But if they stink up Tia Xiomara’s ride, community service will be the least of our troubles. 

Pepe: I’ll drive fast so they don’t have time to do nothin’.

Raul. That’s usin’ yer brain. Let’s giddyup.

They  toss chickens in trunk, close lid and depart to the town square uneventfully except for muffled squawking every time the vehicle bumps or swerves, which pretty much is constantly. 

Chickens: *Brawwwwkkkk!! Sqawaaaakkkk!! Buck Buck Buck, Pa dawwwwkkk!!* {Repeat from asterisk several times right to left, then left to right}

Raul: Which office is that lady judge’s? What’s her name agin?

Pepe: Her Honor Uh-Huh. Another cousin of Ta-Da and Ah-Ha. Dunno what window’s hers. We’ll just tie up the chickens to the railing here with her name on their tags. Like a late Christmas present. Haw haw haw.

They depart forthwith. 

The next morning the town awakens to a hub bub on the courthouse steps.

Police Chief Currently Serving as Acting Animal Control Officer Ah-Choo: Yup, those are mountain lion tracks. It got whatever was tied up here. * Ka Chew!!* From the few feathers floating about, I’d guess chickens. *Cough* But why there are four dog leashes tied to the railing * Sniff* with your name on tags attached to them, Cousin Judge Uh-Huh, I don’t know.

Her Honor Uh-Huh: I think I do, but until we have more evidence, the Court can’t take further action. By the way, cousin, how are those allergy shots going? I never heard of an animal control officer who was allergic to all kinds of fur and feathers. 

Chief Ah-Choo: Slowly working, thanks. *Sniff* I’ll assign some extra night patrols around here for a while, just in case the cat returns. I’ll also post someone outside your place at night. I think Buff Bicep is available.

Her Honor Uh-Huh: He’ll do just fine. *Smiles to self.*

Very late two nights later, a vehicle again swerves and lurches along the back roads outside North Punty, making one squawky stop. A few hours later:

Earline awakens suddenly as two kittens bound across her prone body to the window seat.

Heisenberg: Yeeoooowwwlll: (translation- what was that?)

Argon: Grrrrrr!!! (translation- Grrrrr!!!)

Earline- Ouch!!! What was that? It’s still dark out- It’s 4:30 AM!

Outside in courtyard: Err er EEEEErrrrrr errrrr! *Squawk Pa Dawk*

Heisenberg: Mrrrrrowp Grr. (translation- That was a rooster.)

Argon: Yow! (translation- And chickens.)

Earline rushes to the window where the kittens are frantically scratching on the glass.

Earline: That sounded like a rooster- and chickens. How could chickens get into the courtyard? There aren’t supposed to be chickens running around here. Why are they in the trees? Chickens don’t live in trees. I better call Mama.

Several minutes later; floodlights illuminate courtyard:

Mama (as everyone gathers in the library): Yes- those appear to be chickens in the trees. Quite strange, especially since they are on leashes attached to branches. Hm… Here comes Her Honor, accompanied by Officer Bicep.

Her Honor Uh-Huh: (arrives from her condo, quickly tying sash on robe) Not again. What were those …

Mama:  Chief Ah-Choo has finished her preliminary investigation. *Ahem* Mr. Bicep- aren’t you supposed to be on duty guarding Her Honor? Your shirt is buttoned askew and you are wearing pink socks and a dog collar.

Officer Bicep: Oops (blushes, glancing guiltily at Her Honor)… Er… I’ll be right back.

Chief Ah-Choo: I have gathered the evidence and the birds along with the security camera footage. Your Honor, you now have sufficient material to proceed. The video clearly identifies the two young men placing the chickens in the trees. I also found Pepe’s wallet on the ground. Officer Bicep and I will swing by The Hacienda and bring them in once he dons his standard uniform.

Her Honor Uh-Huh: Don’t be harsh with him, Chief, please. He is an amazing body guard. He did everything to protect me that I asked. My body has never felt safer or more relaxed. Really…

Chief Ah-Choo:  *Hrrrp* As you wish, cousin. But in the future please close your drapes. I shall need to edit some of the security footage before it is presented as evidence. By the way, can I have the name of your, well, never mind—I’ll text you later. Come along, Officer Bicep.

Her Honor Uh-Huh: (finger wave) See you later, Officer.

Four hours later in Her Honor’s courtroom:

Her Honor Uh-Huh: So, ladies and gentlemen, I believe we are finished here. Pepe and Raul, by day you are remanded into Mama’s custody where you will divide your time between attending animal husbandry classes, then building and tending the new free range chicken enclosure Mama has so generously agreed to develop. At the end of the day you will by remanded into Tia Xiomara’s custody where hopefully you will diligently attend to mastering domestic skills. 

Mama: Thank you, Your Honor. I believe the free range eggs will become a welcome addition to the healthy choices on the menus throughout campus. These young men will be quite busy while they work off the bond I posted. The backhoe makes excellent collateral. 

Tia Xiomara: * Ahem* {Points to eye}

Pepe & Raul: No, No!! Not the Stink Eye, Tia, please! Last time you done that we got the runs for a month.

Her Honor Uh-Huh: Then no more fowl play! *Clunk* Court is adjourned. Officer Bicep- my chambers- now!

Officer Bicep: (locking door) Yes, Your Honor? 

Her Honor Uh-Huh: Help me remove my robe, please. 

Officer Bicep: Ma’am- you’re not wearing anything but heels…

Her Honor Uh-Huh: An egregious oversight…