A blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara
The private school where I teach music does a Gilbert and Sullivan operetta each year and has for the past 37 years. When I took the job I specified that I could not help with the operetta. Our children were still in elementary school and I knew the time commitment of a performance would be beyond my ability. This was fine as I was teaching only the elementary grades.
Our enrollment has declined over the past few years so I am now the only music teacher which means I am helping with the operetta.
This year the Gala performance was last Friday evening. We had rehearsals all day every day last week. My Tuesday/Thursday teaching job became a Monday through Friday job. Brian asked me Wednesday evening if I would have time on Thursday to pick up 25 chicks he had ordered.
I took a deep breath and said “Sure, I can go during lunch.”
Now picking up chicks sounds pretty simple but, remember, they have bird brains. Each chick must have their beak dipped in the water trough so they know where to get water. Knowing the limited amount of time I had for lunch, I decided to enlist some help. I couldn’t afford to miss any rehearsal time.
One of the students in the operetta is an experienced chick handler so I took her with me. She knew exactly what to do.
I explained to the directors where I was going and what I was doing. They had no idea how much was involved with picking up the chicks. I felt more like an animal science teacher than a music director.
We can hear them cheeping happily as we eat breakfast every morning. I check them regularly to make sure they have food and water along with the quail, big chickens, bantam chickens, dogs and humans.
Helping with the operetta doesn’t seem like so much work any more.