As you know, I walk between 3-4 miles every day. This week, I’ve had a couple of interesting encounters. The first was an encounter with a black hen that had gotten out of her yard. There are actually a number of chickens and a few roosters that live in the neighborhood. Actually, there are fowl living all over my city thanks to the Seattle City Chickens program. I enjoy the chickens, though not as much so as my husband who will change our walking route so that he can encounter the most chickens. He likes animals, in general, but also used to raise chickens when he lived in Oakland, CA. And yes, I mean Oakland, CA. He and his brother were riding the BART train into Berkeley and they saw a pet store. They loved pet stores so they eagerly walked into the doors of a REPTILE PET STORE. They immediately saw a group of baby chicks. “Why are you selling chicks in a reptile store?” The reply? “Those are boa food!”

So they emptied out all of the money from their pockets (allowance ear marked to buy comic books) and bought as many chicks as they could. Then they brought them home. “You can’t have chickens in Oakland” their mom reasonably said. Then they started crying, “But they’re going to feed them to snakes!!!!!!”

So the boys got themselves some chickens. The population quickly dwindled to one rooster, Cruiser. (There were a number of coyotes in the area.) Cruiser was quite territorial and used to sit on the roof behind the chimney, waiting for the postal carrier. When the postal carrier arrived, Cruiser would swoop down for an attack. The postal carrier promptly started delivering their mail to the neighbor’s house.

Okay, now for the second encounter. Perhaps I should give it a title.

Encounter #2: Elizabeth is not the only spy in the neighborhood!

I was out on my walk today and an older man driving a truck, stopped and rolled his window down. I thought he was going to ask me for directions. Instead he said, “You must walk about 3 miles a day.” (“Hmm,” I thought, “how does he know that.”) I replied, “Yes, how do you know that?” He said, “I live at the intersection of x and y streets. I see you by my house.” (“Hmm,” I thought, “we are not three miles from the intersection of  x and y streets. You look harmless older man but I will be on the look out for black trucks in the future.”)

At this point, probably harmless but possibly creepy stalker-y man says, “Are you walking for exercise?” I reply, “Yes, I am.” He says, “That’ll make you live longer.”

I said, “Yep, hope so.”

So thank you, probably harmless older gentleman for reminding me of the reason I have walked 735 miles in the last eight months.