Twas the night before Christmas and all through the coop, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse (for fear he would be eaten.)
The chicken sweaters were hung in the feed shed with care, in hopes the crazy chicken lady soon would be there.
The hens were snuggled down deep in the straw, dreaming of mealworms stuffed in their craw.
The dog in his collar and I in pink jammies had just settled down for some cocoa and sammies.
When out in the yard the rooster started crowing, I drug myself out of bed, my brow it was furrowing.
If that stupid rooster wakes me once more, I will chop off his head to settle the score.
I peered out the window, down into the coop, positive that bird would make a great soup.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a raccoon and her babies so full of cheer.
I ran for my muck boots and stuffed my feet in, cussing the dog snoring on the sheepskin.
Into the yard I ran hollering and shouting, the raccoon’s murderous intentions I was not doubting.
She had a masked face and a little round belly that shook when she ran like a bowl full of jelly.
The raccoons looked at the chicken coop and then back at me, deciding, it seems, if the meal’s worth the fee.
I screamed at those furballs at the top of my lungs, there’s no free meal here for you or your young.
All my yelling sent the little rascals back where they came, and I called to my chickens, each one by its name:
“Here Henrietta and Betsy,”
“Come Edna and Carly,”
“Where are you Clarabelle, Gladys, and Marley?”
Each chicken was counted, they all looked just fine, my heartbeat still pounding, I was gonna need wine.
Oh thank you, Cluck Norris, for saving the day, I said to my rooster who was snoozing away.
I promised no threats when he disturbed my sleep, we both knew quite well, it’s a promise I won’t keep.
I took one last look and made one last little check as I walked in the house I thought oh what the heck.
I took a deep breath and with all of my might:
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!
Michele Cook is a farmer, author, and communications specialist for the National Federation of Press Women. She raises chickens, goats, and vegetables on her small farm in the beautiful Allegheny mountains of Virginia. If she is not outside caring for her farm you can find her curled up in a chair with her nose stuck in a good book. Follow her on her website.