There are usually ten or so eggs to collect on any given day. I am not tall. I have to open the lid & lean my neck & shoulders over the edge to reach the pile. On this particular day, the largest bird (a Cuckoo Maran named "Bombshell") happened to be on the rafter immediately over my head. I don't know how she got there, she is not aerodynamic & I would have said she could never get her bulk off the ground more than 2 feet or so.
I do know that she launched herself off the beam with a squawk & landed with all the grace of a bag of cement on the wooden lid, knocking my breathe out of me & leaving a bruise around my torso that looks like I have been lassoed. I have not, I swear.
Then she paced back & forth on the lid until I found my feet again & she slid to the ground & wandered away.
Aside from tennis balls, Amy-Dog had few other interests: her food, her food bowl, anyone else's food, anything that could be mistaken for food (including a bag of flour & a bag of cranberries that made her quite ill & me too, by the time she worked it all out).
The chickens liked to nap in the cedar tree over her head until, en masse, they would all jump to the ground, & frequently onto Amy-Dog. She took this very well. Her chin would bump the ground with each impact; there were usually several as chickens almost never act alone. She never showed any sign of wanting to get up & chase them after they had moved on, just on "oof" with each landing & sometimes a head shake when it was over.
One afternoon, though, I heard a terrible squawking & crashing. Sure enough, Amy-dog was going after the chickens. Or more accurately, their hidden nest. I ran outside, grabbed her collar, made her sit & looked. There, in the nest, with the variety of chicken eggs, was a tennis ball. Amy-dog ate every egg , very efficient, one gulp, shell & all, took her tennis ball & went back to her own nest.
//My apologies to Gertrude Stein.