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In their recent State of the Coop address, the chickens bared their feathers. They, too, are sick of winter.

"We like the extra daylight. But what's with all this snow?" was a commonly clucked chorus. "Yeah, show us the green," they continued. "Yeah, dawg, you're a little behind on the fresh-water-each-day deal that's in our contract, too."

The feisty roosters have been all over the place, skittering, crowing, you know, "feeling their oats." Their big concern was simple. Homeland security. Too many neighborhood dogs bopping around, sniffing, marking, and barking around "their" turf.

"Look. Lucy and Buddy are just plain terrorists, jumping up on the wire window frame, pawing at the hinged door. If you don't do something about them, we will," the proud, cocky roosters proclaimed. "We need a secured perimeter and more leftovers. And when's the next holiday when we can finish off more cranberry sauce?"

"But we do like that Atkins Diet. That's for sure," they observed. "The egg shells are harder, aren't they? We like the protein, too. Y'all should eat even more fish. We sure are missing the Chinese take-out fried rice, though."

"Tell you what, though," the roosters got serious, taking two steps forward, looking at me with their weird eyes and jerky heads. I stepped back, looking over my shoulders for the door. Man against rooster is an even match. Two roosters and things get crazy real fast, especially with a crowd of biddies watching.

"We're just chickens, right? But we KNOW the sky WAS falling a few week's back. What kind of safe environment is that? We're supposed to lay you some nice eggs while branches and trees even are crashing down all around us. On our tin roof?"

"Look. Just bring us a few more greens and a fresh bale of straw. This has been a too long winter for all of us. But the water hasn't frozen for six days, so maybe it's over."


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