Finally, I dialed a phone number and someone answered! I have been looking for a few little hens as companions for my single surviving Braveheart hen. One lady hung up on me and never called back. I am not sure what that was about. The other advertisers were too far away or did not have what I wanted. One advertiser on Craigs List seemed to be professional but there was never an answer when I phoned. I gave it one last try today and lo, a voice speaketh from the Chicken Realm.
First I talked to an older man. He was friendly and enthusiastically willing to sell me a few little hens. Yard art, he called them. He gave me overly detailed directions, including a description of driving past the "old, awful house" and "come on back - we'll take care of you!"
When I called before leaving work to confirm, I spoke to a different person, a younger man. He was a salesman! He imported his chickens from Holland and was one of only four breeders of Dutch Bantams in the country. He would give me a deal. And he tried to sell me a rooster.
Well, it was a dark and stormy night when I finally left work for the special chicken breeding haven beyond the "old, awful house". I know I am not as smart as I once was, but sometimes things happen that demonstrate how much I have truly lost. The first thing was driving all over southeastern Shawnee County because I apparently have lost the capacity to drive directly down the streets I have known since 1974. I was not lost. I simply failed to turn on the proper streets, going several miles out of my way. I knew exactly where I wanted to go, but for whatever reason, I drove through intersections as if I were on my way to a different place. I finally drove to the address and turned into a dark and narrow drive. By then it was entirely dark and an icy rain was falling.
It was a good thing the first man had warned me about the "old, awful house". It was an enormous old three story farm house that was coming down in large, square blocks of old wood. In the gloom, it was spooky. I began to worry about axe murderers who lure their victims with chickens. ("Come on back - we'll take care of you!") If so, they were cheerful and friendly murderers. It might not be too gruesome an end. A woman waiting for me with a flashlight showed me to the cages where earlier someone penned several little black hens. Even though the pen was under a big car port structure, their feathers were sprinkled with the icy rain. Poor little peckies!
There were only three in the pen and at one glance I said I would take them all. That is when I realized I had forgotten the transport box in the car - another indication of my foggy brain capacity. No problem. The woman scooped up two and I took the other. The little chickens were sleepy and only made a minor fuss. Cash and chickens changed hands then and I was on the road to home in the first winter storm of the season. I could hear their tiny little cheeps and mutters as they tried to deal with being rudely awakened and jostled around in the pitch black interior of a cardboard box while Joe Bonamassa played the best blues guitar licks known to mankind.
They are tiny little hens, entirely black, much smaller than crows, maybe even smaller than pigeons. The woman said they were almost full grown, but they are not mature hens. Now it is after midnight and I checked on them in the box in the garage. They are fine. When I looked up Dutch Bantams online, I discovered that Mr. One-of-Only-Four-Breeders-in-America was either lying or seriously misinformed. Everyone is breeding Dutch Bantams. Oh well. I have the chickens I want and that is the mainest main thing.