It seems like only yesterday that Rafiki the mandrill was holding the #1 son toward the sky, as a choir warbled about the circle of life. Wait a minute! That was Simba in The Lion King. It's an honest mistake. They both made their appearance in 1994.
But the point is...we may have lost the #1 son this morning as his cherry red Ford Ranger rolled down the driveway on the other side of the wall of tears blocking my irises, but this evening we discovered NINE NEW CHICKS! I'm sure #1 would be so happy to hear that he was replaced at the Mansion by 3/4 of a dozen fine feathered friends. He loves those fowl so! I'm surprised he doesn't carry one around with him as a pet, like The Mudge Boy. Or paint its toenails pink like those wacky rednecks on last season's Redneck Island. Okay. That's not really plausible. He hates the flock.
The Pony made the discovery. Farmer H was reclining in his La-Z-Boy around 5:00, resting up from the big freshman move-in day at #1's institution of higher learning. He sent The Pony as usual to collect the eggs. Imagine the surprise, upon perusing the barren goat pen for wayward hens' eggs, The Pony saw a flurry of movement which turned out to be a hen never before known to sit, with a circle of cheeping satellites that numbered nine chicks of varying fluffnicity.
Farmer H shot out of his recliner like Usain Bolt out of the starting blocks. Like the RoadRunner (beep! beep!) out from under an imminent sky anvil. Like a tiddly pinched by its wink. So much for being exhausted. I'm surprised he doesn't keep a supply of auction cigars to pass out on these occasions. He usually notices which hens are determined to sit, and puts them up with a certain number of eggs where they won't be bothered. Keeps tragedies like The Great Almost-Hatched Egg Massacre from recurring. I'm not sure The Pony has recovered from that one yet. He was a bit younger. Pranced out to the chicken coop every day to see if the chicks were here. And found their pecked, broken-egged, lifeless bodies in a heap. Chicken wars. Nobody wins.
Don't think this is the proud papa protecting his brood. He's only there to eat the corn The Pony tossed to the new mama. These are mutt chickens. Some Ameraucana, some black silkies, some turkens, mostly Heinz 57. It is quite possible that none of those nine chicks have a shred of DNA from either of these two adults. Who knows which crafty hens laid their eggs in this previous non-sitter's nest? We'll have to see how they turn out as they grow up.
We know how the #1 son turned out. He ain't chicken.