All Cooped Up

What up cool cats? Hope y’all have been funkin’ it on the real. Nimrod has been cooped up quite literally. Yet again I come back, and yet again you come back. You know around here we keep on truckin’.

A few days back Monkey and I were out working in the yard. “Working” by the way, is a covert term I often use to get out of the house and it rarely involves actual work. Yoop and Munda were in the house cause the weather was not great to have the little lady outside.

While working on the swing with Monkey, Yoop come out and said, you really need to build the chicken coop. She had been nagging me for, oh I don’t know, about a month to build the coop, but I had just been putting it off.

I said “I know, whats the urgency this time?”

“Number Four was just in the sink.”

“Was the water on?”

“No. Just get it done.”

This conversation has happened before, but something about it this time made me think she really meant it. Maybe because it came with out the normal threat of having me sleep with the chickens all I knew was for my own safety I should really build the coop. It would also be nice to step out of the shower and not have 5 chickens staring at me like they had plans for me once I fell asleep.

Monkey and I finished our work for the night and after everyone went to sleep I put those Reefer drafting skills to work. After a short time I had a rough, very rough sketch of what I was planning on building. Good thing Yoop didn’t wake up.. she thought I had drawn the plans a few weeks earlier. Instead I had watch some hunting shows on the DVR. Don’t tell her, my personal safety may rest in your ability to keep your mouth shut. Pretty please!

OK enough groveling. The real reason I caved into Yoops demanding demands was I didn’t want my Turkey season to be interrupted by messing around with poultry housing.

The next morning I retrieved the required building supplies and started making the poultry Mansion. My building skills are nearly as good as my hunting and fishing skills, so I knew this was going to turn into one of the all time best chicken coops created by mankind. Numbers One thru Five were not going to know what to do with themselves… it was going to be awesome!

The build started out normally. Measure once and cut twice is the adage I learned long ago when building. Even Monkey was in on the action. He would help me measure and then run like a deer who caught whiff of a Nimrod fart when the saw was in my hand. He also contributed by not letting me get too much in a groove, asking repeatedly to be pushed in his swing. Usually as I was getting ready to make a cut, for the second time.

Late afternoon the basic structure of the Mansion was taking shape. It had been hard but miserable work, especially since the weatherguy ordered record high temperatures for the area. I emailed the weatherguy to voice my displeasure over his choice in weather. He responded claiming that I had emailed him asking for the warm weather because chickens had been staring at me in the shower. While the peeping peepers were annoying I would not have hung my laundry out is such a way. Checking my sent messages I was not able to find any I sent him. My brain gears were turning.

Between refills on daddy pops, measuring once and cutting twice and pushing Monkey on his swing I was sweating like a pig heading to the market. The sweat was in my eyes and all over my hands but Ole Nimrod keep on truckin’.

After the frame was built I started putting the Devils fence on the frame. I quickly figured out where this stuff got its name. Its sharp, poking and gets caught on any piece of clothing you get near it. Working the Devils fence around the frame I began to wonder if doing this myself was worth the scrapes and pokes I was getting all over my body. Then I remembered I couldn’t trust such an important structure to anyone but myself.

Over all things went well, I only had to measure twice a few times. The only time I sustained any sort of injury was when I was nailing the staples holding the Devils fence to the frame. I was concentrating on getting the fence lined up perfectly and when I started to tap on the staple something bumped be from behind. This caused me to increase the velocity of the swing and tap the tip of my bow hand index finger with the hammer. The blood blister formed instantly and brought back the familiar feeling of pain. Ahhh… blood blisters are good for the soul.

Instantly, after a minute of adult content spewing from my mouth, I turned to see what had bumped me. No one was around. Monkey had gotten bored helping from the swingset and was inside with Yoop and Munda. Both Fido’s were also in being lazy in the excruciating heat. One through Five were still cooped up in the can. Weird.

A few more hours of wrestling the Devils fence, I finally finished 90% of the Mansion. It was missing a roof, but I didn’t have enough lumber to make one. It will require another trip to the hardware store. I strutted like a spring Gobbler into the house to get Yoop and Monkey. I walked them out, explaining the Mansion was missing its roof but that would be coming tomorrow after yet another trip to the hardware store.

Yoop and Monkey circled the Mansion, checking out all the angles. Monkey squealed his approval and then ran to the swingset. Yoop continued her assessment making a second loop around.

“Its better than the dog house you built while we were in Texas,” she quipped.

“Gee thanks,” I responded knowing the jab wasn’t a compliment at all.

Side note on the Texas dog house, I built it the morning of September 11, 2001, after watching my fellow Americans being attacked in NYC. Instead of being square and solid, it turned out more of a rhombus shape and was not overly sturdy. I must add it held up for about three years before old Muttly broke it.

Getting a bit impatient by Yoops hawk like surveillance of the Mansion, I asked “So, what do you think?”

“Not bad, especially for you.”

“So its good once I get the roof boards tomorrow?”

“Sure, but how are we going to get One through Five inside at night?”

“These doors on the back, there are two so you only have to open one to get the eggs once the start laying,” I replied confidently.

“Oh ok. How are we going to feed and water them?” Yoop professed.

“Right… hmmm…” I rambled

How were we going to get in and out to feed and water them? Or put them up for the night away from natures scavengers? I know I would not have over looked such a vital piece of the Mansion during the drafting phase. Brain gears were working overtime now. Weird.

I went and checked out my drawing and found the faint, erased lines of what originally were going to be a side door. How did they get erased? I pulled my pencil from my ear and found no eraser on the end. It wasn’t me but then again why would I set myself up for failure?

By this time Yoop, apparently content with smashing my pride in workmanship, had gone to push Monkey and Munda on the swingset. I assessed the problem and grabbed the Devils fence cutters and cut a hole in the fence.

I fashioned up a door frame out of mismatched boards that were all to short. I measured once and cut twice on some small boards for a door. Screwed it all together and hung it on some hinges. Considering it was Nimrod made it turned out surprisingly well. Even swings smoothly. Sometimes even a blind squirrel finds a nut.

The next morning I got the roof boards and put the roof on. After nearly two full days of being cooped up building a coop I was finally done and could fly the coop.

The Mansion was a thing of beauty. I sat back, opened another daddy pop and thought Nimrod may just spend the first night in the Mansion himself…


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