Why don’t men just say what they mean? Bud and I have been married forever and I still don’t know how he thinks most of the time. You need a little history here. My niece generously gave me a garbage bag full of chicken poop. I’d been coveting her chicken poop for a while, but hated to come right out and ask for it. If you’re not a gardener, you probably have no idea what a precious gift chicken poop is. Ferns love it. There is nothing better than a delicious dose of chicken poop tea for your flowers and vegetables. They practically slurp when they get their weekly dose and seem to fairly jump up. I hurried home with my prize before she could regret it, with the intention of making myself a big batch of chicken poop tea. I dug around is Bud’s shop and found a nice five gallon bucket. He agreed I could use it. It never occurred to me to mention what I wanted it for.
I divided that precious poop between that bucket and one of my own and filled both three-quarters full, covered them and left them to steep, one on the front porch and the other near the back patio. In a week or so, I had a strong brew. The lid prevented the smell from permeating the area. It was potent. I doused my ferns and other hungry plants weekly. They loved it, competing to green up and put on new growth. Adding water each use kept it coming. The stuff was all I hoped it would be.
Then Bud started badgering. “When are you gonna pour that stuff out? It stinks!” You can’t keep it here in that bucket.”
I wasn’t getting rid of it. “Hannah, gave me this. I need it for my plants. I’ll move it away from the patio, but I’m not getting rid of it!”
”That s—— stinks.! You need to pour it out.” He had the nerve to actually call it s—-!
”I’m not pouring it out!” He stomped off. He better have the good sense not to mess with my chicken poop tea!
This went on for three years. Several times a summer, we discussed my tea. He never quite had the nerve to dump it, though he threatened several times. That was a wise decision. Chicken poop doesn’t grow on trees. By now, this was prime stuff, very valuable to me.
This May, we were having guests. I was fatigued, having spent several days getting ready. Bud started up again, seeing my weakness. “What are you gonna do with this bucket of s—-?”
I lost my resolve. “I guess I’ll throw it out!” I thought he’d be ashamed and stop me. He didn’t! I gave my plants a final treat and emptied the buckets on my compost heap.
Yesterday as we dawdled over Sunday coffee in his shop, I spied that same blue five gallon bucket by Bud’s saw, full of lumber scraps. “Is that THE bucket? I didn’t think you’d still use it after it stood full of chicken poop for three years.”
”Why sure. It’s a good bucket. Why do you think I wanted it back?”
“You mean all that complaining was over the bucket, not the chicken poop?”
”Well, yeah. It’s a good bucket. I needed it back.”
”Why in the world didn’t you tell me? I would have gotten you another bucket and kept my chicken poop? Buckets are cheap! Chicken poop is priceless!” Was this the same man who agreed to share all his worldly goods only forty-eight years ago? I guess that didn’t include “good buckets.”