A couple of months ago I looked out the window one day and there were two little boys sitting in a tree at the edge of my yard. I sent my kids out to check and it turns out, these two little boys have a father who lives in a subdivision about a mile and a half away. The Nice Kid is the social one, so by the time she's finished she has the story...between the biological mom and her ex-husbands and the biological dad and his ex-wives, these two kids have 14 half- and semi- siblings. They're not sure how. And while the older boy lives full-time with the dad, the younger one visits on...well, some weekends. And they are out, in rural Alabama, wandering through the woods.
That first day, they were here for nearly six hours and no one, to my knowledge, ever even looked for them. They are well-dressed, well-groomed and according to TNK, have AWESOME cellphones. But that first day, I fed them two meals and kept them supplied with cold water all afternoon. Eventually, even though I offered to take them home, they struck out through the woods and went home. They said their dad would freak if he knew how far they'd gone. Not "freak" enough to wonder where the hell his kids were for at least seven hours, but still freak. Well. That makes sense.
We asked around. They're cared for. They have...what do you call them? Blended families? I guess. But while they may have nice cellphones and nice clothes and a nice house (I tracked it down)...they are pitiful. Just pitiful. And they showed up right after noon today, looking for my kids. My kids are spending the day in town with their grandfather, at the pool. I told the boys this and they said okay, and then about ten minutes later they knocked again asking for water. I fixed it for them.
It's been three hours and they're still in my yard. Playing. By themselves. They're not hurting anything and they have walkie talkies and cellphones...I can see them.
But oh, people. One is twelve and TINY; the other must be about eight and he's little, too. They could be dead, strangled, abused and at the bottom of the river and no one would know anything about it until it's too late.
But they're not mistreated.
Which brings us to my "staring out the window" point. Several years ago a friend of mine and her mother were driving down the interstate and there was a chicken truck in front of them. One of those trailer trucks with multiple wire cages stacked on top of each other, carrying chickens. And for some reason, chickens kept falling off the truck.
There were squashed chickens and run-over chickens and feather-pile chickens. All up and down the interstate. But there were also live chickens, wandering around dazed in the middle of the blacktop. And my friend kept pulling over and shoo-ing the chickens out of the middle of the road. Or picking up injured chickens and moving them to the ditch.
And finally, after she had nearly killed her mother and herself multiple times, pulling over and moving chickens, her mother said, "Bobbi, you can't save every chicken."
It's turned into sort of a mantra, that and "do 55 and fuck it," but I'm sitting here watching these boys and this just ain't right. But there's nothing I can do. I could complain to the authorities, I guess, but what's that gonna acomplish? Nothing. The authorities are busy taking care of shaken babies and crack babies and intoxicated two-year-olds. This is not an issue.
I guess I need to go make a pitcher of Kool-aid.
That oughta help. And you can't. Save every chicken.