Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mr. Chicken Bucket Man

During the school year, the three kindergarten classes save their food scraps for our chickens.  They all go in a special bucket and Chris picks them up in the afternoon.  The children know where the food is going and they get excited when they see Chris.  Last time, one of the boys greeted him with, "Hi, Mr. Chicken Bucket Man."  The teacher must have had a word or two with the child because when Chris came out of the last classroom and walked out through the playground, the same boy made sure to say, "Good bye Mis-ter Re-in-hart", in his most forced polite voice.

If for some reason Emma gets a ride home from school, picking up the scraps ends up being part of my morning drop off duty.  Fortunately, I've never been called Mrs. Chicken Bucket Man.  I entered the room one day to the chorus of "it's chicken time!"  After dumping the scraps into my bucket, I started to leave. I didn't get far before one little boy stopped me.  He had chickens, too.

"We got SIX EGGS IN ONE DAY," he exclaimed with enthusiasm.  He then went on to tell me all about their four roosters, who were big bullies and how he took a walk one day with his grandma and saw a goose that had been half eaten by a coyote.  "It was cool", I was informed.  "There were all these bones and stuff and the head was off."  He wasn't the least bit upset by what he'd seen and he seemed to accept the fact that the coyote was just trying to make a living, as we say in our house when one of our flock disappears.

It was a reminder to me that kindergarten children, especially kindergarten boys, really do live in a different world.

As much as I appreciate getting the food from the classrooms and I feel good about recycling what would otherwise not be used, I am not crazy about being on chicken bucket duty.  It doesn't smell good, and, after three class' worth of scraps, the bucket is heavy.  I'm a bit embarrassed, too, if I have to carry the bucket through the school hallways.  Up until a couple of weeks ago, I would put the bucket in the trunk of my car for the trip home, just so I wouldn't have to deal with the lovely aroma.  Not anymore.  The last time I did that, I had to stop suddenly at one intersection.  When I arrived home, the contents of the bucket were scattered all over the trunk.

It was disgusting.  The kindergarten boys would have loved it.