The California mountain emergency chicken call

This was the phone call I received. It was from my mother. I was in the mountains of California, and it was early morning. I answered it, worried something might be wrong. I was right. Something was wrong … I answered the phone. This is the call I received.

Mom: Brian!

Me: Yes, mom. What’s wrong?

Mom: I hate to bother you on your vacation, but this is really, really important (long pause) … There is a chick in the backyard!

Me: Hold on, say that again?!? It sounded a lot like you just said, “there is a chick in the backyard.”

Mom: What?

Me: A chick in the backyard!

Mom: That’s what I just said … how did you know?

Me: I didn’t know. That’s what you just said.

Mom: I know, because there is one. What should I do?

Me: Is it one of my chickens?

Mom: No.

Me: Is it in my backyard?

Mom: No.


Mom: Because you know chickens … and your brother won’t answer his phone. He never answers his phone!

Me: That’s because he’s smarter than I am. Now, why is there a chick in your backyard?

Mom: How am I supposed to know!?! But it’s out there peeping and following Missy Daisy around. What kind of stupid bird follows a cat around?

Me: (Hangs up.)

Mom: Brian! There must have been a bad connection … the line went dead. Anyway, I have to figure out what to do with this chick. Can I take it to your chickens?

Me: ARE YOU CRAZY! No, you can’t take it to my chickens. We don’t know if there is anything wrong with this chick.

Mom: Sure, we do. It’s perfectly fine … aside from the fact that it’s following around a cat, which is mighty suspicious. I can’t figure out why a bird would do that … or why Missy Daisy hasn’t eaten the little thing. Do you think she wants to raise it?

Me: (Hangs up.)

Mom: Brian! These phone connections are horrible! Anyway, a neighbor came over and helped me put it in a box so I could take it to the vet. He and the vet tech both say it’s a quail. You have quail in St. Augustine?!? How could it be a quail?

Me: Goba-grbl-golum …

Mom: Anyway, sounds like the reception is bad. I’ll call you back.

Mom: Brian! OK, the vet took one look and said it wasn’t a quail. It’s a chick! I knew it. But he can’t explain why it would follow Missy Daisy around. Isn’t that the strangest thing? Anyway, I don’t know where you brother is. What’s all that high pitch screaming? Is that you? Are you OK? How would you feel about taking another chicken? I might just let it follow Missy Daisy around. They seem to be getting along just fine. Must be because it’s not a quail …

Also published on Medium.

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