You go to bed on Saturday with a painful lump in your right armpit. It's not romantic, but there it is.
A lump. A red lump. And it hurts.
By Sunday night, you have a matching pain in your left armpit.
By Monday morning, it hurts to move your arms, a difficult thing if you want to, say, shower, or eat, or get dressed, or even, for that matter, roll over in bed, something that you're champion at. You ignore these things until you can ignore them no more. You know they're just lymph nodes doing their cleaning thing, but you've got things to do and places to go, and you don't have time for infections right now.
It's time to visit the doctor.
As chance has it, your doctor is on holiday this week, but the Other Doctor has an opening, this very morning. Bully for you.
The morning's visit includes a very slow computer, one urine sample, and two vials of blood.
Of the three things, only the blood is elusive. The nurse stabs your arm ever-so-gently. She wiggles the n…
You go out to the porch, slip on your sneakers, and walk down to the chicken coop. It's time to visit the girls. You walk down the steps, past the blackberry brambles, through the woods and enter the pen. Already you hear their peepings. Though you can stoop down to look through the small door leading to the ramp, you open the large door so as to see all of the bundles of black and white and tan feathers peeping away.
You squat down to see them better, to be less threatening, and watch as they hop down from the roost, visit the feeding trough, investigate the nesting boxes. They peck, peck, peck even if they are pecking at nothing at all.
Hard to think that six weeks ago, there were no chickens, no coop. Now the coop stands, complete with stained glass window (salvaged at the transfer station), three doors, ramp, and sturdy wire surrounding the pen. It's been less than a week since you picked up the girls, all eight of them. Four buff Orpingtons, two Wyandottes, and two barred…