Remember See 'n Say toys from decades ago? They were nifty round things with a carrying handle, pictures circled around its face, and a big arrow in the center; when you pointed the arrow at a picture and pulled the string the toy would talk to you. Probably the most popular was Farmer Says....you would point the arrow at a picture of a farm animal, pull the string, and the toy would tell you the name of the animal and make the corresponding utterance. "The farmer says 'cow'...moooooooo". You get the picture. They had an alternately poignant and amusing commercial that showed a group of city kids at a farmyard, leaning over the fence, pointing at the sheep and yelling "hello doggie!!!", and the commercial hailed The Farmer Says as an invaluable learning tool for misguided, citified children who don't know hamburgers once mooed.
Well, we just had one of those moments. As Linda and I snuggled on the couch watching a movie while some daylight still remained, movement outside the window caught my eye. An odd looking bird was bobbing (aha--literary foreshadowing!) along in the weeds. I went outside to get a closer look, baffled. The neighbors' chickens had been out wandering and dining when I came home from work, so we thought perhaps a young one had wandered off. Upon closer examination, I was less inclined to think so....but (sorry Linda, under the bus you go) Linda was pretty insistent it was a young chicken. I will admit I didn't take much persuading; it had what looked like the start of a comb on its head, did the whole pecking thing, and fluttered alot but didn't fly. Linda tried herding it towards the neighbors' house while I stood in the road to stop any cars coming by, but it couldn't be convinced to go home. I came inside to call the neighbors to rescue their sad, lost fowl, and just for the heck of it, grabbed the bird book while their phone rang, and began flipping to 'quails'. The conversation kind of went like this: "Hi! Sorry to bother you; this is Ashling from across the street. Are you missing a chicken? A young one, not a chick but not an adult?" He replied, "I don't think so....", and before he could say anything else I blurted out "Bobwhite! I think it's a bobwhite!!!" (bobbing....bobwhite....clever how I did that, huh?). Bless his heart for not only not laughing at me, but confirming they had seen a bobwhite in their yard last year, and then asking if we needed more eggs (which they so generously share). Alas, the bobwhite bobbled (there it is again!) along under the hostas beside the garage, and we didn't get a picture of her, but all I could hear in my head was "hello doggie!".