I came back from holidays to find a grand-daughter I didn't recognize. Her face was swollen and bright red, almost purple. The poor girl’s eyes were tiny slits and blisters covered large areas. An allergic reaction to poison ivy is what I was told. Mom and dad donned rubber gloves and went in search of the culprit. Plants were pulled out by the roots and disposed of in plastic bags and some needed to be sprayed as they wrapped themselves around trees.
I was amazed at the damage done to the poor girl and wondered how? Apparently the chickens wandered into a patch of poison ivy and while carrying and cuddling one of her favourites she rubbed it on her face. I would say she learned a lesson but she loves those chickens. I suggested to mom it was time to get a family pet. The children are four, six and nine, what better age, but another responsibility is not what was needed. The children and their tutoring, the chickens and the gardens are a heavy enough burden she said and I agreed.
Right now baby toads can be found hopping along in the grass. The children run around collecting them and place them in an old fish tank on the porch. They have also placed rocks on the bottom in some shallow water and added some greenery. They collect food for them and watch them hop around. Every night after they go to bed mom goes out and releases them only for it to start again the next day. This I know won't last much longer as the toads will grow and escape to the wetlands across the road minus the ones that turn into compost under grandpa's lawn tractor.