Lots of crazy stuff happened today – we had to chase a chicken over a few rooftops AND I got to help with tamales (it’s actually an every-Saturday thing)
Why the chicken was even out of its pen, I don’t know – fault might just lie with the rickety cage in which some of them live – think jagged boards propped against an assemblage of random materials, with black plastic to keep the rain out.
At any rate, this one scrawny chicken escaped, vaulted the wall, and fluttered down to the corrugated metal roof of our immediate neighbor Abuelo (who happens to be my host dad’s dad). As Abuelo was out on an errand this morning, we let the chicken wander around aimlessly, figuring we’d deal with it later. Eventually, we realized it had traversed several houses and reappeared on a roof like 100 feet away. We went to track the chicken down, my host mom, brother and nephew and I, only to be casually told by our barefoot neighbor that he’d “let us know if it came off the roof.” He rubbed his shirtless belly while listening to our explanation. It was sort of an annoying response, as we just wanted a chance to make some noise and scare it into the garden, but the chicken had already meandered back to Abuelo’s roof.
Walking briskly back around the corner, we spent the next half hour in Abuelo’s yard, making a huge racket while the kids pointed and yelled out the chicken’s position from their vantage point on the terrace next door. My mom and I took turns with a twenty-foot bamboo pole, banging and swiping at the rooftop, chicken running back and forth, evading our best efforts without even trying (or understanding why). It was ridiculous, yet pretty funny – I couldn’t stop smiling, although I was pretty determined to get my hands on that chicken. Eventually it jumped down onto the next-next-door-neighbor’s roof, who happens to be my host dad’s uncle (Tio).
In Tio’s yard, the chicken had a lot less room to maneuver. I grabbed a stick, whacked the chicken down off the roof (it was supposed to be a swipe) and cornered it against a woodpile, ending the chase ended with a quick grab and a squawk.