Monday, August 12, 2013

The Great Chicken Dump

The joys of small town life, and my favorite HCN blog to date:

The news infiltrated the High Country News mothership like a cute animal video (which editors Sarah Gilman and Betsy Marston are particularly fond of) and spread through the North Fork Valley faster than a stomach flu. Soon, from the barstools of Revolution Brewing to the ratty couches of the HCN intern house, the Great Chicken Dump was all anyone in town could talk about. More than 100 hens had been found clucking and wandering around a dusty mesa above town, and no one knew quite how they had gotten there.

Not since the infamous 2012 confrontation between the billionaire (Bill Koch) and the hairdresser ("Tiananmen Sid") have the North Fork’s collective feathers been so ruffled.

“THESE CHICKENS WERE CLUELESS HOW TO SURVIVE ON THEIR OWN,” wrote one woman (determined to express herself in capital letters) on Paonia’s unofficial Facebook page, where there are over 300 poultry-related comments and counting. “THE FEW THAT KNEW TO GET INTO THE BRUSH AND NOT STAY IN THE OPEN DIDN'T KNOW TO EAT A RIPE SERVICE BERRY IN FRONT OF THEIR NOSES.” And so a herd of Paonians headed up to the mesa to take matters into their own hands, rounding up the hens and searching in the chicken scratch for clues. For breathless hours, the chicken dumper remained at large....

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