Rita Tarvin Rocket win streak reaches five G-Men ascend to 4-0 in SBAAC National Division with win at Williamsburg Jays soar to 3-1 with win at North Adams Young Lady Jays improving as season progresses Mary J Yockey Callie J Maynard Windle Blanton Daisy D Nevels RULH HS students visit Jungle Jims Aberdeen Council has busy end of the year River Village Christmas celebration begins SR 41 now open Gast’s three-point shower drowns the Tigers Lady Rockets capture wins over Ripley, Batavia Keplinger signs with Shawnee State Warriors down the Devils, fall to the Greyhounds Broncos edge out Williamsburg, 53-50 Carol S Newman John E Short RULH Elementary names ‘Go Green’ Students RE/MAX Local Experts opens in Williamsburg RULH wraps up ‘No Shave November’ fundraiser Eleven indicted by Brown County Grand Jury Donald C Vance John C Morris Rebecca E Simpson Hot start sets pace for Broncos’ 85-40 win over CNE G-Men get off to 1-1 start Lady Rockets start off season with tough string of road games Basketball Special: 2017-18 Katherine J Wolfe Virginia J Germann Rev Commadora Manning Mona K Kirker Ohio Rural Heritage Association donates to Food Pantry RULH FCCLA attends meeting in D.C. RULH MS students try ‘Tabletop Twitter’ Ripley Village Christmas update Bonita Planck Carol J Wagner Christopher O Richey Sr Five new members to enter WBHS Athletic Hall of Fame Blue Jays ready to soar under Woodward Fischer named to OPSWA All-Ohio First Team of football all-stars High school girls’ hoop action kicks off in Brown County Formation of new joint Fire & EMS District discussed RULH students learn about ‘Global Food’ Personal financial management class at RULH High School Dale G Ferriel John E Slack Nicholas A Arthur Bonnie J Roush Charles E Faul Phyllis A Mills Carl L Watson Marc W Bolce Robert R Moore Robert K King June R Williams William T Ishmael Sr Deborah J Napier High school hoop action begins Fayetteville SAY Girls Wing Soccer Team finishes season among state’s Final Four Devils visit Georgetown for OHSAA Foundation Games Grandfather charged in boy’s death ‘Real Money’ at RULH Middle School Ripley High School celebrates Veterans Day Reward increases for information leading to conviction in Stykes’ murder Ripley Village Christmas update Kenneth M McKinley Vilvens signs with Mount St. Joseph SBAAC awards girls tennis all-stars Layman inducted into Miami University Athletic Hall of Fame SBAAC hands out awards to First Team girls’ soccer all-stars John D Marks Aberdeen Police Department receives ‘Shop With a Cop’ donation Benefit to take place Nov. 17 for Grace Copple St. Michael students take part in Community Soup Supper Voters return Worley to the bench Ruby A Ratliff Donna J Moore Stella M Glasscock Ellen L Gelter Alverda T Guillermin Justin N Beach EHS dedicates ‘Kiser Court’ SBAAC awards First Team football all-stars, winning teams Sizer earns SBAAC American Division Volleyball Player of Year honors for 3rd straight year Broncos to host Blue Jays for OHSAA ‘Jimmy Young’ Foundation Game, Nov. 17 Vern W Kidd Jr Brown County Election Results – 2017 Michael D Hines Raymond W Napier Leslie E Boyle Gary L Barber RULH NHS welcomes new inductees K-9 Units and handlers visit RULH High School EMS members honored for service Road work on Ripley streets to begin

My favorite bird

There is something about my birds that just makes me want to smile. One of my red hen runs up to the front porch to greet me every morning as I step outside to empty the coffee grounds. I hear her heavy footsteps on the side deck and know that she is on her way, but even so, we almost collide as she rounds the corner. She cocks her head to the side and looks up at me out of one eye, as if to remind me that she is my favorite bird, and then she settles in to wait patiently by the front door, as we eat our breakfast. She knows that I will save her a bit of my cereal for a special treat, because she is my favorite bird after all.

And then after breakfast, as I open up the pigeon coop and spread scratch grains on their landing board, I love to watch the flutter of perfectly white wings. In what seems like an instant, 10 or more pure white birds are contentedly pecking at their morning treat. They mill about and peck here and there, and then, in an instant, they take off. They circle higher and higher into the sky over their gazebo coop. Their circles grow wider and wider as I continue on with my animal chores, but in time, I look up and see that they have changed their flight pattern and are now flying in a huge figure eight that spans from one side of the creek valley to the other. Their pure white freedom is beautiful to behold and gives my heart a flutter. Without a doubt, they are my favorite birds.

As I near the duck house, they see me coming. They stand up on their sturdy jet black legs, and stretch their ebony necks. A green shimmer shows along their backs, glinting ever so subtly in the morning sun. When I open the gate and scatter their grains, they begin their gravelly chorus, black bills pausing in raucous song just long enough to snatch up some delectable grain. I fill up their water trough, and only after they have flowed like a squawking river through the water do they head out into the yard, waddling in squadron formation, fanning out behind their leader. I have to smile as they head out into the orchard, my comic flock of black feathered foul. Yes, they are my ever so silly favorite birds.

And then there is the rooster! He stands at knee height, but when he puffs out his chest and thumps his wings I feel as though he is looking at me eye to eye, and I am wary. I have large sticks stashed about the farm that I often use as rooster deflection devices. My perfected move is half baseball half golf swing. He eyes me as I pass by and stomps the ground. I implore him to be gentle, but I thank him for his tenacity in protecting his multi colored flock of hens. Three times, that we know of, he has chased off the fox. This big bad rooster is very near and dear to my heart, the perfect protector of my hens, and perhaps my very favorite bird.

And then, of course there are my hens, all 31 of them; two black, three gold, four white, five buff, seven grey, and 10 red. They wander all over the farm all through the day, but every evening, just before dusk, they gather in the upper field, hunting for bugs and looking like scattered feathered gum drops. I go out to collect their multi colored eggs from the drop down doors at the back of the chicken coop. Every day I have a wonderful egg hunt, a few eggs from this box, one from another, none from one, and a whole basket full from the last! A few of the girls are already in the coop. The others are slowly making their way across the field. One heads up the ramp, then changes her mind to go after an unseen bug. I return to the cabin and stand at the kitchen counter as I put up the eggs. I watch out the window and see the last few hens waiting patiently in line to head up the ramp to roost for the night. I know that the solar powered door will close safely behind them. I put their eggs in the refrigerator. Without a doubt, they are my favorite birds.

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