There I was, unsuspecting on a Saturday morning, folding the mountain of clean laundry I’d left from last week’s laundry day because I don’t generally get the laundry washed, folded, and put away in the same day (or week). As I got the mountain reduced to a molehill, I took some time to pat myself on the back. All that was left to fold was the load of kids’ jeans in the dryer and kid jeans are easy-peasy, and in a matter of a few minutes, all that occupied the dryer was two pairs of jeans.

Or so I thought.

As I reached in the dryer and grabbed the second to last pair, I saw it there—the other occupant in the dryer.

A bird head.

A dried-up, semi-petrified dead bird head. 

At first, I wasn’t sure what it was. It kind of looked like a hair ball hacked up by a cat, but we don’t have cat that would leave such a thing in the dryer, let alone a cat in the house. And it had a beak. So after a series of double takes, I realized what it really was and how it must have gotten in there.

All three of my kids have left surprises for me to find in the wash before, but never anything like this. And which kid had left this in their pocket—I did not know.

So, after I recovered from the shock of this surprise and the disgust of picking a dead bird head out of the dryer, I asked . . . 

“Hey guys, I found a dead bird head in the dryer today. Do you know how it got there?”

“It was NOT me, mom!” my seven-year-old boy exclaimed. (Hmm . . . I thought for sure it was you on account of your love of Dual Survival, Bear Grylls, and honing your survival skills, I thought to myself.)

“Oh yeah, that was me,” my five-year-old daughter said nonchalantly, like it was no big deal. “I found it behind the shop. I picked it up and put it in my pocket because I wanted to show everyone.”

Her answer wasn’t entirely shocking. I mean, considering her love of animals and all the things creepy and crawly, it actually seems obvious that she would pick up a dead bird head and put it in her pocket to show people, right?!

Moral of the story . . . 

Kids are gross. The washer and dryer have been disinfected. And that load of jeans—it’s been re-washed, sans the dead bird head. But mostly, kids are gross—really, really gross.

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Terryn Drieling

Hi, I’m Terryn. I grew up on a northeast Nebraska feed yard with pens of cattle as my backyard. That is where I fell in love with raising beef. So when I went off to college in the big city of Lincoln, NE, I focused my studies on animal science with the goal of one day becoming a feed yard manager. While at UNL, I met my never-boring, always-entertaining husband, Tom. After earning my degree in 2006, we moved out to the panhandle of Nebraska where I took a job on the animal health crew of a local feed yard. I loved my job, so-much-so that I would argue I never actually worked. Over the course of the next seven years Tom and I got married, welcomed a son and then a daughter, and I continued loving my life and career. I couldn’t imagine life any other way. But then, God inserted a plot twist into our story… And I am so thankful for His twist because I am happier than I have ever been doing things I never thought I’d do. I am now a stay-at-home-mom and ranch wife who has discovered new passions in photography and writing/blogging. Faith Family & Beef where I share my story as a wife, mother, lover of coffee, and dabbler in photography – living in the Nebraska Sandhills, bringing up a family while raising beef. Follow along on my blog: