Clearly Dear Reader, you are not confident that I would not give you things like lamb tails. But really I would only do that if you were that type of person. Oh, oh, I feel a story brewing up....
After reading her posts about her sisters' visit and the pranking that went on, this one is inspired by Kathy at Spot on Cedar Pond, now and also when the story first unfolded. And if I were still the same woman I was in this story, yes, I could understand your reluctance Dear Reader, to take me up on my offer of a prize. But honest, I've been rehabilitated, it was the shock therapy, I am no longer the same pppperson.
Kathy and I used to be in 4-H, as leaders, project leaders, superintendents of barns, moms. This meant that we were at the county fair and sleepless for days. Now I am not blaming the sleeplessness for my actions mind you, I'm just saying when you leave Lanny up all night you have to expect that many more hours of shenanigans.
Kathy superintended the Poultry Barn, I can't remember which job I was on at the time, but Terry, my partner at the Sheet Diet, was helping in the Cat Barn, yes, you heard correctly there is a Cat Barn at the County Fair. I had swung by and was hanging out with Kathy while she locked up her barn one night during the fair.
She always had terrific educational and inspirational displays up at her barn, one of them was a brooder of just hatched out chicks.
Time out here in the story for a little lecture: Next time you are visiting a fair, primarily run by volunteers, and you come across a brooder of hatching and just hatched chicks, remember that the volunteer had to time it just right, tend a incubator at their home for the better part of a month just so that you could have the delight of seeing baby chicks hatching and running around in a brooder.
Kathy did that every year along with collecting entries, dealing with the paid staff of 4-H and the fair, making other educational displays, grooming some of her own birds for said displays, talking her husband into building things for or fixing a building that they did not own and the fair/park service didn't care to help with. Dealing with kids, (usually fun) and their parents (not usually fun), making sure that the judge she hired earlier in the year showed up, setting up for the show, keeping kids on task while their do birdsmanship..... Okay I'm done with my lecture lets get on with the story.
She was tiding up her barn and had just collected up a chick that didn't make it in the brooder box. "Ahh, too sad. Okay, what garbage can is safe to chuck it into?
Then the wheels began to turn, with Kathy's help I am sure, I'm positive she had the first thought of it. You know she really deserves the credit here.
Terry was in charge of putting up prizes on this big board displayed down in the Cat Barn. The prizes were for the kids who did herdsmanship, they were allowed to pick a prize when they were done. Many of the prizes were different cat toys that "Fluffy" might like for his/her owner to pick.
Terry had told me just that day that she had to arrive early in the morning every morning of the fair, open up the Cat Barn and put the new prizes for the day up on the board before the kids arrived for the day with their kitties. She had to get there early so she could finish before they began to hover around her, because they wanted to know right away what they were working for and she doesn't do hover. So I knew that she would arrive before anyone else. I was confident.
So Kathy locked up the Poultry Barn, while I held little flat chicky in my devious paw. We walked down to my trailer and grabbed a zip lock bag for chicky, just like the bags that all the other "cat toys" were placed in. We sat around and waited to make sure that everyone was gone from the cat barn. The Cat Barn superintendents don't have animals to deal with at night like up in the livestock barns, all the cats and children leave the cat barn at nine at night, so when they were gone, they were gone.
Well the time had come, all was quiet in the cat barn, the adjoining rabbit barn and there were just a few non-curious stragglers in the Fair Office through which we gained access into the Cat Barn with the deception of "I have a note I need to hang on Terry's board so that she will see first thing in the morning."
"Oh Terry, I cannot wait, I wish I was this little leftover plastic mouse so I could see your face in the morning." I pinned that dead little chick now a "cat toy bar none" right smack in the center of the award board. Kathy and I giggled a little as we envisioned the shock on Terry's face and all that she would say as she took the dead chick down. Ooops, did I say dead, that was rather calloused wasn't it, "the deceased chick" is what I should have said.
The next morning I was busy at work setting up the arena for what ever small livestock was showing that day when I got called to the Office.
There stood a very stern looking Cooperative Extension 4-H Program Assistant. Okay, truth be told I still had no idea that I was really in trouble because she always looked stern especially at me because I was constantly causing trouble, mostly in the form of "why can't we accomplish this or that, it really can't be that hard can it?" I was one of those thorns that "they" alternately wished they could get rid of and then had to give awards to for all I got done. Burn out comes quick and hard to us types by the way if we are not well fed and cared for. Any who, I really couldn't think of what I had done now so I stood dumbfounded in front of her.
"LeeAnn, did you do something in the Cat Barn last night?"
"Uh, maybe." I sorta 'fess with a smirk building in my countenance.
"Well we have some crying sobbing children in the barn now this morning. They were quite shocked."
I immediately felt bad. That was not my intent. Yes, I think it is grandly silly that we have a Cat project and a Cat Barn, but my own kids had at times shown cats, well mostly just Michelle (it explains a lot), but really I don't not like the Cat Kids, its not their fault that they don't get to show real animal. I wouldn't want to make them cry. I figured that they couldn't handle dead stuff, it really wasn't my intent for them to find it.
But then I wasn't sure, was that a tale tell smirk on Nancy's face, where, by the way, was Kathy?
"But what happened to Terry?" I blurted out. "Terry was supposed to find it. Not the girls."
"Terry was late this morning. So the kids found it themselves." Man if this is a double back trick on me she is good at keeping a straight face, but I am positive that I can see a little smirk, but maybe I just want to see one.
Do you know how hard it is to apologize seriously and not laugh at the same time. Come on. Really how bad could a flat chick be to see in a bag. It wasn't bloody. But on the other hand I know that my kids are unusual and mercenary and yeah I get it, I'm sure some of them will be scared for the rest of their lives and I am sure that their parents will indulge the "horror" of it all. All I can say in my defense was that I had no intention of the children seeing the flat dead chick in a bag. But I guess it is people like me that give people like Bee phobias for the rest of their lives (see her comment about birds on my post One Of My Favorites Return ) . I oughta get a kick back from all the therapists in the area I tell ya.
So I promised never to pull a stunt like that again and I left the Office a whipped pup with my tail tucked between my legs thinking I will never get this whole adult business down but secretly wondering if Terry and Kathy were hiding somewhere having a giggle of their own.
"Lanny, have you reformed?" you ask quizzically Dear Reader. I understand your reluctance in believing that I have. But let me reassure you beyond a shadow of doubt that I have reformed. To the core. I am no longer the same woman. Yes, I am reformed, I no longer volunteer.