The Beginning of Everything: Part 1-Auction Chickens


No one tells you anything about herding chickens. It’s like no one has ever had their chickens get loose before. Like I’ve mentioned before, I read a lot about chickens before getting them. Not one mention of herding the little dinosaurs. No author was ever like “if you’re chickens escape from their pen, here’s what you do.” Why do I keep bringing this up? It can’t be that hard, right? No, it’s not, once you know how they think.

When I came home from college, a switch got flipped somewhere in my head. I don’t know what happened, honestly, I don’t. I basically declared “I’m getting chickens.” So that’s what I did. I went to the small livestock auction, nervous as heck as this was my first auction ever. I got myself a number card and started perusing the auction floor, deciding the ones I’d be bidding on. I had decided I wanted bantams, which are basically just small breed chickens. However, I really had no idea how small or large a bantam was. Seeing these chickens in the flighty, feathered flesh, I had no idea what I was in for.

Bidding time came and it was like they had painted me red and tied neon lights to me. I had obviously never been to an auction before and I could see that knowledge written easily on the auctioneer’s soft smile and quick nod when I timidly raised my card. I went back and forth a few times with another bidder as I quickly attempted to decide how much these birds were really worth to me. Suddenly my bid was the winner and I was given the number of the cage of birds and the cost. I went away to pay and get my boxes, eager to take home my prize.

By the time I came back, all the animals had been sold and the bidding was over. I walked back and forth among the cages looking for my newly acquired chickens. I grew concerned as I looked, being unable to find my chickens. I began to panic a little, thinking someone had taken them. Finally! I found them! Uneasy and unsure of myself, I began the process of loading them up. I managed to get three in the box before one bounded away from me.

The little bugger went under the cages and every time I ran around one side, it darted away. I grew increasingly self-conscious as she evaded capture. An old, quiet farmer came to my rescue and deftly snagged her and put her in the cardboard box. He smiled and said “here” as he reached for the box. He took out a knife and cut a few air holes in it and then helped me load my last four chickens.

I was giddy on the ride home. I had my chickens! I’d done it! Two new experiences were had that day: Bidding at an auction and being the proud owner of 7 chickens. I truly had no idea what was in store for me, not in the next few days and certainly not in the next few years. I was entirely unaware of the brand new trajectory I had just placed myself on.

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