OPINION

GOOD MORNING: Noisy neighbors

Jerrie Whiteley
Herald Democrat
Jerrie Whiteley / Herald Democrat

This morning as I sat at my desk writing, I had to turn up the music on my television set because some neighborhood stray cat was harassing the stray chickens.

My neighborhood has chickens. For someone who spent some time living in the country where the sounds and smells of chickens are to be expected, having them right here in my city neighborhood sometimes catches me off guard.

First, it was just the fact that they were there. Then, it was the fact that some would get out and wander about the place. Next, I was surprised to find one or two in my yard and on one snowy evening on the top of house. 

Then this morning, the ruckus coming from the yard where the chickens are held was loud enough to compete with my schnauzer for noise.

The squawking and crowing was enough to make me want to run for cover only there is no place to run. And they are multiplying like crazy. Now there aren't two chickens in the drive way but five or six and soon there will be ten or twelve.

As a person who eats her fair share of chicken and eggs, I shouldn't be so bothered by a few feathered friends. And I guess I am not except that the chicken noise adds to the schnauzer noise. 

The schnauzer noise distracts from the keyboard clicking and clacking which can leave me feeling a bit behind.

And I am beginning to suspect that there is something other than chickens over behind that fence. Every once in a while, I suspect I hear a duck or two. 

I know that I should be content to let my neighbors be content to have their chickens because they have been content to let me have my silly loud dog. And I try to be that kind of neighbor. But I try to keep my dog from barking at the crack of dawn every morning come rain or shine or weekend. 

If those chickens knew how much of their kind I consume on a weekly basis, they would be making a lot more noise. In fact, with recent changes in my diet, they are more in danger from me than I will ever be from them. 

I wonder if my irksomeness at their noise is really just my guilty feelings about consuming so many of their kind. With the number of things that I have cut out of my diet in the last year, it would figure that its one and only real staple would be something that would someday cause me grief. 

If I give up on chicken, I won't have any protein left but tofu. And, I am not a tofu fan. It's hard enough to live in the heart of steak country and not eat it more than once or twice a year. Pretty soon, they will come looking for my Texan card.