Mouse has been waiting for three years to show her poultry at the state fair and she is finally here, waiting in line to be called for Showmanship.
That’s when I learn that after Showmanship, the birds won’t be judged in their cages but will be called up breed by breed to be judged individually at the table.
My head has been hurting all day. I’m not sure if it is dehydration, stress or if I just needed a cup of coffee. I just want to go lie down, but finally it is her turn and we sit and watch her talk to the judge even though we can’t hear a word she says.
“He said it was impressive. At the start, he told me no one knows salmon faverolles so if I did well, I would get a good placing. And he said I got a purple!”
Then came more waiting with a young lady who was going over every word the judge said, looking for some hope that maybe she got the champion.
Purple and ninth place. I can see she is a little disappointed, but purple at the state fair is nothing to be ashamed of and she is one of the youngest in a class of about 40 competitors.
And my headache is growing and I’m holding a chicken Mouse has finished grooming so it won’t mess up its feathers and I can’t believe how heavy a chicken can get in an hour. Or how much my head can throb. I get a frozen coffee with a chocolate covered espresso bean and for a moment, it feels like my headache is going to clear up.
But then it gets worse and I start sweating and the world goes a little swimmy.
Mouse gets a purple for both her Salmon Faverolle pullet and cockerel and they take Best of Breed and Reserve Best of Breed. Her Welsh Harlequin drake only gets a red but the duck gets a purple, Best of Breed and Best of Class. I’m proud of her, but I can’t leave soon enough.
And as soon as I step outside, I throw up. Over and over and over.
And my seven year old Bug, who has an extreme phobia of anything related to vomit or nausea ever since she saw her baby brother throw up after the accident, ran away.
Like as in a full out, adrenaline-charged, panic stricken sprint across the park with no regard for direction or obstacles or traffic or whether she would ever be able to find her way back to her family again. And when you are throwing up outside the sheep barn, it is a little hard to do much of anything else.
So my thirteen year old Mouse had to take off after her and it was all she could do to catch up with her, tackle her and hold her until we finally caught up.
And that was how we spent the much anticipated day at the state fair poultry show.