I don't know how your weekend was, but mine was for the birds. Literally. Boy Wonder and the Munchkin were in a showmanship competition at a poultry show. Boy Wonder has been doing this for several years now, but this was the Munchkin's first "real" competition. And let me tell you, these things are fierce.
As I you may know, the chicklets are a part of 4H. Like many 4H-ers, they are involved in several projects besides just poultry. In 4H poultry competitions there are kids who know chickens, in fact some who know a whole lot about chickens, but Boy Wonder's ability to retain and "regurgitate" (what seems like) a mind-numbing amount of poultry knowledge usually gives him an edge. "Official" poultry shows are a different story. Alot of the competitors are the children of "hard core" poultry breeders (something the Geek and I are not) and as such have been "marinated" in all things poultry most of their little lives. To even place in the top ten is really an accomplishment for "regular" folks like us.
The Munckin had a bit of "stage jitters" and was feeling like a failure even before the contest began. We gave her the old "it's not whether you win or lose" pep talk and hoped for the best. She was competing in the 5 - 9 year old division, so some of the kids she was up against had been doing this for almost 5 years. She gave it her best shot, but we were sure she didn't place too high and again told her how proud we were of her for trying.
Boy Wonder's competition was even fiercer. Some of his competition had been doing this for almost ten years (twice as long as he's been at it). The kid is a wealth of poultry facts, but he has his weak areas. He knows alot about chickens, but not so much about other types of poultry (i.e. turkeys, ducks, pheasants, etc.) and that's what we felt could cost him in the end at this contest.
When it came time for the awards to be presented, we all thought the kids would get their "participant" ribbons and we'd call it a day. We never expected the Munchkin to claim "First Place Novice Division"!!! Boy Wonders "Third Place Intermediate Division" was the icing on the cake :)
We are planning to attend the "nationals" in Indianapolis at the end of the month. I am sure the competition will be even stiffer, but I think my chicklets are going to be up for the challenge. We've got three weeks to cram their little noggins full of everything poultry. It may be a longshot, but who knows? Like I told the Munchkin last Saturday... even if they do not come home with a trophy, as long as they do their best, they have done something they can definitely be proud of.