Years ago (I believe I was in middle school), I woke up and got ready for school. As I opened to door to leave for the day I came face to face with 2 chickens on our enclosed front porch. Seeing as how I knew a house not too far away that had chickens (even though we lived in the city and this was strange to begin with) I pretty much knew where they had come from. The question was, what were they doing there?
I stepped back and closed the door and let the fact sink in that there were chickens in our front porch. I mean, of all things to leave the house to, CHICKENS?!?! WTF?!? Anyway, so now I had a choice to make. Do I go out the door and brave the chickens to go to school? Or, do I stay in the house, skip school and avoid the chickens that have camped outside the door? Seeing as how I had no previous experience with chickens, I was stumped. The thought of my parents killing me for not going to school though made me try for going to school.
So once again I approached the door. As I got one foot outside the chickens decided to violently flap around, scarring me back into the house. Ok, no school for me. I wondered if the school would consider that an acceptable excuse. “Yes, hi. I can’t come to school today. Why? Well, I’m being held hostage by chickens.”
For the rest of the day I stayed inside and lounged around the house. Later in the afternoon I heard a commotion on the front porch and looked out the window to see the chickens doing their crazy, wing flappy thing again. (I would call it a chicken dance, but that's just rediculous. Everyone knows what a chicken dance looks like. Although, it's just as scarry.) I jumped up and ran out the back door to find my dad standing on the outside of the porch staring into it. (At this time it occurred to me that had I thought of the back door earlier I could have gone to school, but really who thinks of things like that while being held hostage by chicken?)
Me: Good. You’re home. Make sure they don’t go anywhere and I’ll go get their owners.
Dad: You know where these belong?
Me: I think so.
Dad: Of course YOU would know where chickens live in the city.
So I got on my bike and rode over to the house and sure enough they were missing their chickens. From time to time, after that, the chickens would come and visit (and I would use the back door) and the owners would just come get their chickens because they now knew where to find them.
About a year later, I woke up to go to school and opened the front door to find it full of a big, black pig. Once again I stepped back, closed the door, shook my head and went back to bed. No school for me. When I woke up again, I found my mom sitting in the living room watching T.V. (Something she almost never did.)
Me: I think I dreamt there was a pig on the porch.
Mom: That wasn’t a dream. It’s still there.
Me: You’re kidding me?
Mom: Nope. A big, black one?
Mom: Nope, you weren’t dreaming.
Apparently the neighbor a few houses down decided that instead of getting a dog or cat (or chicken) for a pet she wanted a Vietnamese Pot Belly Pig. What she didn’t do is make sure the pig couldn’t dig its way out of the pen. So once again I went out the back door, down to the neighbor’s house and she followed me back with a leash to take her pig back home. After that the pig would get out often and the neighbor always found it on our porch. We never saw the chickens again.
What I learned from this was that, sometime during the night, while I was sleeping, my front porch would somehow magically produce livestock that liked to keep me in my own house. I never really knew what to expect when I stepped outside in the mornings, but I never was shocked either. Now I live more out in the country-ish where horses and cows are not so odd and think, “I have not once been visited by a chicken or pig. I think my childhood home just had a magic front porch.”