Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Welcome home, Riki

Charlie said I should title this column, “Riki and the Rooster,” but then all you readers of this column would understand right away how my cousin’s visit to the farm went a few weeks back and I wanted it to be a surprise.
See Riki is originally from Hawaii and lived in Missouri for a while and graduated from Mt. Vernon High School. She then returned to Hawaii where she met her husband, and they (Andrew is in the military) are stationed in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. (I know, poor souls moved from paradise to paradise!)
So as you can see, Riki hasn’t had much experience (as her cousin has, like I’m some pro!) with farm life.
When she came back to the mainland for a visit to introduce her Missouri family to her new husband, I took the opportunity to introduce Riki to the farm.
We planned to gather the entire family at my house one beautiful Sunday afternoon. Fairchilds came from near and far to meet Andrew and visit with Riki.
Meal time went off without a hitch. And before our Baggo tournament could begin, I (innocently) asked Riki if she would check to see if there were any eggs in the chicken house. Hearing this request, the rest of the Fairchilds (who have been privy to my rooster experiences) eagerly gathered by the chicken house for the “show.”
Now, before you start thinking I’m the meanest, most inhospitable cousin in Lawrence County, you need to be aware of the many signs Riki was given that this was a set up.
#1 — I asked Riki to take off her high heels to wear a pair of Matt’s knee-high work boots.
#2 — The ENTIRE family didn’t walk, they ran to the back yard to watch.
#3 — Since angles might have been an issue when documenting the experience, two people decided to video tape.
#4 — I gave Riki a bucket and showed her how to swing it. (I thought she knew I meant in self-defense, but looking back, who knows what she thought motivated the advice.)
I will admit I felt a small pang of guilt or maybe regret as I opened the door and Riki apprehensively walked inside with me lovingly assuring her along that everything would be OK.
So as the rooster “introduced” himself to Riki and laughter, tears and screams ensued (not all from Riki, of course) I knew I had done the right thing.
In fact, I think this will be my new thing — invite city friends and relatives over to check eggs. Initiation, I guess — an insight into the life we lead, spurs and all.

As seen in the Lawrence County Record

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