One of my favorite stories is about Uncle Charlie, and his pickup truck. He had a little Bandy hen (that is a breed of chickens that doesn’t grow very tall but they have a lot of spunk, could be said they have the little man syndrome. Think they are ten foot tall and bullet proof, very independent.) Oh I have to mention that the little hen had lost sight in one eye, so she walked sideways so the good eye could see everything going on around her. She walked with her head held high and always extra alert.
With the loss of the one eye, she probably had a hard time flying up in a tree and landing on a limb to sleep for the night. She was also extremely independent refusing to go into the hen house at sundown to be closed up for the night for protection from predators. Somehow she discovered a little spot on Uncle Charlie’s pickup, in the bed, way up near the cab under the toolbox. At sunset we could see her fly up on his pickup and make her way through the debris and tools and disappear down into her nest. Uncle Charlie was a carpenter and had a little of almost everything he had ever used in his work on the back of that pickup. It just looked like a pile of stuff but it was organized. He knew where everything was when he needed it. No one else could find a thing, unless he directed the search.
Uncle Charlie was not a fast man anymore at this stage of life, probably never was, so in the mornings the little hen always had lots of time to get out of the pickup before he left the farm, either before Uncle Charlie got into the pickup or when he stopped to open and close the gate at the main road. At any rate she was always out without any attention from Uncle Charlie. He would just see her doing her thing, a good arrangement for both.
As fate would have it, one morning for some reason, either the little hen slept late or Uncle Charlie got up early. But the real problem was that the gate at the road was already open and Uncle Charlie drove through the gate and did not stop to close it. Once he had started the pickup, he left the farm without a stop; never thinking about the little hen. He drove about five miles to his first stop sign at the intersection of 414 and Hwy 77, at Country Corner. When he stopped the pickup, the little hen flew out and ran like the wind. She was scared and confused; uninterested in Uncle Charlie calling her to come back.
At that time Country Corner was a little beer and soda water joint where the owner and his family lived in the back of the store. They had a few chickens running around, so every evening that week as he drove past, Uncle Charlie looked at the chickens to see if he could see his little hen. He kinda missed her company; but he never saw her. As he had no intention of chasing the hen to capture her to take her home, he did not stop. After all, during the week, Uncle Charlie didn’t make a habit of stopping there. But Fridays were different. On Friday evening on his way home from work he almost always stopped and treated himself to some liquid refreshment, German Soda Water. Most of the male population in the area also stopped for a cool brew on Friday. Oh my, when Uncle Charlie drove up that Friday evening there were about 15 to 20 pickups in the parking area.
About sundown he was sitting facing an open window, talking to his friends, and finishing his refreshment. He saw his little hen passing by the window. She was walking like usual with her head held high, leading with her good eye like she had a destination in mind. Staying out of her sight, he watched her. She went out to the parking area and started sizing up the pickups there. Didn’t take long, she spotted his pickup, walked up to his pickup (out of all those pickups) jumped up on his pickup bed, and crawled down into her nest and then they rode home together. He didn’t stop till they got to their farm. He thought she would fly out when they got to the farm. But no, she slept there all night and got up in the morning like nothing had happened.
If she went to check out the parking lot at sundown on Friday, it would stand to reason, that during that week, the little hen probably went out in that same parking lot every evening about sundown and checked out the pickups. When she did not find his pickup, she had to find a place to hide to sleep or subjected herself to going into the chicken pen with the other chickens to find safety to avoid being eaten by predators. So I can imagine how glad she was to see his pickup on that Friday evening. I bet she said “I knew he would come back for me!”