I lived in the city most of my life until June 23, 1987, when my husband, Dale and I moved from Phoenix to Sonoita. My son Joshua was 10 years old and Johnny was 3 months.

For the first two weeks or so, Dale left me and the boys at the ranch while he went back to Phoenix to finish up a job. I’ll never forget that first morning waking up. “I’m in The Little House on the Prairie,” I said out loud as I whipped open the curtains to let the sun in. There was a cow staring back at me. I mean its snotty nose was almost touching the window. I screamed. Nobody heard me….

After about a week, someone pulled into the ranch and drove around the house to the corrals in the back. This was the first person I had seen besides Dale’s folks since he left me there. I put my shoes on and went to meet the mystery man.

He was standing on the other side of a cow when I introduced myself. His name was Ron Fish. We had a real nice conversation, and then he pulled his arm out of the cow. He had a plastic glove on that went clear up to his armpit, covered with gunk. “Oh, my God!” I said. “I was just inseminating this cow,” he explained. I had never seen anything like it.

“So you were doing that the whole time we were talking?,” I asked. “Yes,” he said. “Welcome to the country.”

After a few days, I started to get bored. I was used to doing things. I figured I needed a hobby, so I read a book on raising chickens. It sounded easy enough. It took about a week, but I gathered up all the makings for a chicken coop. I didn’t have a clue where to get the chickens.

One day before Dale got back, I drove to Patagonia to visit with the Hatfields, our first local friends. There were several people at Darrell’s when I got there. I was telling them about my plan to raise chickens. They all seemed to think it was a good idea. Then Mark Caine said, “Wait right here. I know where to get you some chickens. I’ll be about 45 minutes.”

I was so excited. My plan was coming together. Mark showed up just like he said, with several baskets of chickens. We loaded them in the trunk of my ugly green Olds 98 and bungied it closed so they could breathe. When I got to the ranch in Sonoita, I left the trunk open while I built the coop. What an exciting day!

Dale came home from work late in the afternoon. I couldn’t wait for him to come in the house. I ran out to his truck in my excitement. “Dale, we have chickens! Hurry up and come see them!” Dale stood there looking at the chickens, scratching his head. “You’re not going to get very many eggs,” he said. “Why? Didn’t I build it right?” “No,” he said. “They’re all roosters!”

Thank you, Mark Caine and all those who never even cracked a smile. It was a good joke!