I recommend you go read Part 1, "Why the Chicken Crossed the Road," so you're caught up with the rest of the class. Go on, read it, but hurry back. We'll wait.
Tuesday evening I walked into the house after work and Chas had dinner almost ready. I volunteered to go round up the kids, so, still wearing my dress and heels, I went outside. On the road halfway between my parents' house and ours I saw Sparky with her grandmother, patiently leading a chicken down the road. "What are you doing?" I asked as I approached.
Mom had a cup of chick scratch in her hand and was throwing handfuls of it onto the road's edge. "Oh, we're just chumming Caramel with this to get her home," Mom answered. And it was working. They had that crazy hen almost home, all the way from Mom's house. But all of a sudden Caramel realized what was going on and turned around. She dashed into the ditch to try to get around us and head for the open road, back to Grandma's house, or at least away from us. Into the ditch I went in my dress and heels, cutting off Caramel's escape. "HA!" I yelled, which works with cows and apparently not with chickens. For all of my experience herding cows in high heels I had no experience herding chickens down the road, in any attire. The bird and I dodged and parried and dodged again, and finally I had had enough.
"I'm done," I announced. "Sparky, it's dinner time. Caramel is on her own." We left that crazy hen beside the road, happily pecking the chick scratch from the dirt. She spent another night on my front porch and was gone before first light again, across the road to Grandma's house.
There are places in this world -- many of them in my own neighborhood -- where sneaking a chicken into a neighbor's hen house by the light of the moon would get a person shot full of buckshot, or worse. Fooleryland isn't one of those places. And so Wednesday night at around 10:15, on a sudden whim, I found myself cradling Caramel in my arms and walking her down the road under blazing moonlight to my parents' chicken compound. If that's where she wanted to be then I would move her there. She would have to sleep in the hen house with the other chickens, which would be a little bit traumatizing for her, but nothing as bad as being jumped by Chicken Dinner ever day or being stalked by a fox.
I approached my parents' house, unsure what do to. With arms full of bird and a cardboard box in one hand I couldn't open their door, and I was afraid I would wake one of them if I rang the bell. So I sneaked quietly past the house to the chicken compound, unlatched the gate, and deposited Caramel on the floor of the coop. She was sleepy from our walk and made no attempt to flee, so I clapped the 3-sided box down over her and she stayed put.
Thursday Chicken Dinner was stuffed into another box and taken to the feed store to be given to the first person who asked. I'm guessing he was swimming in gravy that night.
Check back tomorrow for the epilogue.