birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

Cluck Cluck

Living in a small town, and rural community has it's benefits. The known. A kind of everybody knows everybody thing. A kind of everybody knows your business kind of a thing. Down to make and model of your automobile. Etc., etc. So much for privacy. Sometimes, the fishbowl aspect of life here can create discontent. A longing for urban anonymity. But not for long.

The reliance on the known,leads to the characteristic suspicion of anything or anyone new. From new businesses, ideas, and municipal decision making. A downright reluctance to make a change and embrace the new.

An example of the purity and persistence of this small town trait was evident a few years ago, when the city council was petitioned to decide to allow chickens within the city limits. By the way, this is a town where you can drive to Raley's and find a goat hitched in the back of a pick up truck.

What started out as a common sense idea that backyard chicken farming was a good idea (no roosters, just hens) became an all out war. My husband, politicized by the idea, and the principle of it became involved. We were for it. He and the masses attended city council meetings with facts and and in good spirits.

The opposition began a door to door campaign against it. The person doing this, who had the time on her hands to do it, oddly, was not from here. A city transplant who wanted a gated community not Mayberry. Our fearless city council refused to take a stand, and it went to a ballot vote. Steve came home from that meeting needing a serious martini. I poured it.

The campaign was on! Bumper stickers that said I ❤️ Heart Chickens, and signs on properties with a green chicken logo--adorable. The best of all was Klander's Deli (across from the Sheriff's department and courthouse) which spray painted the chicken logo all over the front and side of their building in pink.

There's more, about how my husband was accosted by the head honcho of the opposition for taking a photo of her bumper sticker retort. (It was funny and unbelievable--sometimes you need a photo just to prove how silly it all can be. And he wanted me to see it.) She took her complaint to his employer!

My time is up, but to let you, dear reader, know, after all that strife, the chickens won! Cluck! Cluck! And, we kept our dear green chicken sign, because we love it so much.


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