Cluck. And then cluck again.
Yes, it was just another day in Spokane. There I was, leaving Huckleberries (our local organic food store and all-around reliable neighbor). And there she was, sticking her neck out, and back in - out, then in - and then out again - as she pecked the grass for a seed or two in front of the house across the street, looking wholly out of place (and dangerously close to a store that loves its free-range chicken).
I thought of telling her to back away, girl - back far, far away from the eyes of those that scan the streets from the store's back door - but I took out my phone instead, and took a photo of her bobbing head.
There we were, on 10th and Monroe, smack dab in the middle of the lower South Hill - me with my camera, her with her intentions... I tried to catch her on her head bob up, not down, but she eluded my endeavors - though at one point, she looked up as if to say, "All right, take the photo. Take it now!" But her pause in action came just at the moment that my thumb got stuck to the side. By the time I clicked, she had bobbed back down again.
Still, I did get a shot or two - of her on the lawn - of her approaching the driveway - of her crossing the driveway - to get to the other side, perhaps? It was a punchline in the making...
There was a point when I remembered the wafting of scents of grilled teriyaki chicken cooking inside this lovely store - not today, but other days - and I thought, no - it can't be that she's escaped from there. Can it? But just as I wondered, a boy - two of them - came out from the back of the house where she was. They were laughing and looking, searching for - yes, a stray chicken. One stood in front of the gal, a hand on either side of her and then, in one instant, he caught her between his hands and scooped her up. I heard them say something about "Animal Control" and I said (from the other side of the street), "Is she yours?"
"Yeah," the boy carrying her said. "She gets out a lot."
She likes those seeds on your lawn, young man.
I didn't think to ask her name. Hen, I think. Or Chicken Gal. That, I like. It is how she shall now and forever be known, at least on this blog. Her name - what we called her - was Chicken Gal.
Yes, this is Spokane - where you can meet whatever farm or wild animal you might want - a Fat Robin or a Raven, a baby Skunk and now this Chicken - oh, and the Coyote - don't forget the Coyote. The Trickster, is how we knew him. I wonder how he is?
Spokane. It's a town of adventure, no matter how small. Just look. You'll see.