Tongue Tied


Some people feel like they were born underneath an ‘unlucky’ star.  I believe the one I was born under has a name…and it is ‘Calamity’.

I heard of being ‘tongue-tied’ before, but never expected to see it – literally. It all started with an early morning trip to the chicken yard. Each morning, at first light, I head out to the coop to let my flock out into the yard. I rinse and fill the water bowls, then spread some scratch grain out for their breakfast.


Strings Attached

While filling the small pool we have for the ducks, I noticed an odd sight. One of my barred rocks had a piece of string hanging from its beak. Curious, I dashed, darted, spun and ran to catch her. Sure enough, she had a piece of string that went into her throat. A closer look showed it was tied around her tongue.

After a few failed attempts to remove it, I could tell it was a two person job.  I called the Country Boy and told him I was headed his way. All I told him was I had “a strange problem he would just have to see to believe”.  When he saw me pull up with a chicken in my lap, wrapped in an old bath towel, he just shook his head. When I explained the problem, I got a full belly laugh from him.


A Different Kind of Surgical Procedure

Trying to open a chicken’s beak while a pair of scissors is headed toward its tongue isn’t easy. Trust me. I wouldn’t want to be that chicken. Fortunately, we managed to perform a successful Stringectomy, and the chicken is now happily pecking away at bugs in the coop yard.

Although I frequently patrol the chicken yard and coop for anything harmful, food or otherwise, there is a rare occasion I miss something. And when I do I end up doing surgery. As much as I detest the thought, I will now be on my hands and knees, searching every inch of the coop and yard to see if there is anything that can cause a problem. Just the thought of that makes me cringe, but the idea of one of my animals in distress is even worse.

Have you ever been tongue-tied? Although that term is just a figure of speech, beware that it can become a literal thing. After learning this, my mind can’t help but run through the list of other phrases that might rear up to haunt me… Cat got your tongue? Oh, boy. I think I am staying out of the barn.

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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