Waiting for Agnes

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Poultry in motion December 22, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 5:22 am
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An excerpt from the diary of Danielle-Spencer the hen:

Sunday

It might be morning, I don’t know. It’s still dark. Water and chunks of ice are falling from the sky. We huddle under the shelter and peer gloomily out. It could be the apocalypse.

Definitely the apocalypse. A hooded person appeared through the ice and chased us through the mud. Now I am in a house of card. The house moves and lurches. My tiny feet scrabble on the floor. Maybe I will sit.

The lurching has stopped.

 

The house of card is unfolding. Tigers? Lions? A tiny person? Oh my.

The tigers are stalking me, trying to look excited, but I can see the fear in their eyes. I am Chicken! One loud bok and they disappear. The tiny person isn’t so easily got rid of. At least there is no falling ice here.

And no mud. Look! I can hop here…and here…and here on these bits of cloth draped all around. And up! Up to the… pretend sky? This is too confusing. I will sit.

I see another chicken. In a field? I can just hop… no. Is it a pretend field?

I am moving. I didn’t mean to move, but I am moving. And I’m in the field. It is not pretend.

That’s a big chicken.

Holy crap. Gotta run.

Aaaaaaarrrrrghhhhhh. Big chicken has a big beak.

Ha! Hiding place. I will sit here. Shame about the water falling on me.

The hooded person is back with a funny tent. But my hiding place is secure.

Or not. Back in the house of card. Am so confused. Will putting all this food in the water and pooping on it help? No.

Dark again. House of card has disappeared. I am in a bed of straw. This might not be so dreadful.

Monday

What fresh hell is this? My bed of straw is at the feet of the big chicken. The big chicken is awake. And he is shouting? Beats pecking me I guess.

Ah. Food is coming. Even in the apocalypse there is food. That’s reassuring.

Crap. Big chicken has seen me. Running. Running. Flying! Take that big chicken!

Big chicken is shouting. From my lovely tree I can watch his curious ways. Ah see (I say in my best David Attenboroughesque voice), see how the big chicken makes his journey from the house of straw to the water hole? Pausing only to poop, and shout, and stretch his left wing, and shout, and stretch his right wing, and shout. See how he makes himself so tall to shout? Almost like a dance. And now, having taken his fill from the water hole, he begins his slow, erratic march to the lemon tree. To shout at the lemons? I could do this all day.

But what is this on the horizon? Another hooded person. With no hood. And another person. Are they following the big chicken? Oh now this could be fun.

Big chicken runs and shouts. People run and shout. They flap a big flappy tent at the big chicken. Ha ha big chicken, see how you like running in the long long grass. Oh. The big chicken is in the flappy tent. And gone.

All is quiet. Bit bored now.

Hmm. Getting dark again. Bit of drool on my feathers. Must have had a nap. Might venture down for a snack.

Damn. Forgot about the apocalypse. People are back with big flappy tent. But I am fast.

See, people? I am up. Bye bye people.

Tuesday

I am definitely well suited to this David Attenborough gig. I have found a new field. It is small and full of low, brown sticks. Excellent for sitting.

Sitting. Sitting. Contented sitting. A bit of scratching about. Some whispery commentating of the march of the ants. More sitting.

Not more people. I was just getting into a really good sit.

The people are circling. I will hop over here….no, that’s no good. Over here? No. Hands waving at me. Here? No. Ouch. Didn’t see that stick.

And I am up. But not flying. My wings are folded tight. I am with the people.

And now I am in a funny plastic house. Small people and tigers are watching me. This apocalypse is exhausting.

The plastic house is lurching.

And I am home. Home, glorious home.

 

Coming home to rooster December 18, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 9:49 pm
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After the horrible loss of our feathered family, earlier this week, I was reconciling myself to the still emptiness of our back yard. We had said our good-byes to the hens, packed away their belongings, cleaned out their house and anticipated a summer of romping around in chook-poo free grass. I didn’t want to rush out and replace the ladies too soon. How could any hen replace Agnes? And what if a fox struck again? I had a plan forming to amass a pile of tasty baked goods with which to bribe our nearest and dearest to help in the construction of a high-sided, roofed, super-fox-proof outdoor run, with work commencing in February.

And then we heard from the happy new owner of Lucy, Snow White and Cinderella. Remember these little cuties?….

 

 

A couple of weeks ago they went to live around the corner with our friend and fellow midwife, all looking very much like hens. All was well. At the time I had said ‘If any of them turn into roosters you can send them back’, feeling pretty confident that, at seven weeks past supposed chicken-sexing time, we wouldn’t be seeing them in our yard again. Hmm. Chicken-sexing time? Six to eight weeks of age? Not such a narrow window after all. See our affectionately named ‘ranga chick’ up there, on the bottom right? Well, ranga chick grew into Lucy. Then Lucy grew into:….

 

 

Russell. Russell Crow. And he does. Frequently. For the past three hours he has been angrily searching our yard for his flock, cockadoodledooing at every tree, bird, interruption, poop-break, snack-break and drink-break. At four months old he is still just a baby really, but is already impressively larger and louder than a fully grown Agnes. Since his dramatic return after dusk last night I have been laughing maniacally, the beloved has been groaning and muttering ‘I don’t want a rooster’ on a loop, and one of our cats has been having a long, fur-shedding, possum-tailing, bug-eyed freak out. And it’s true. We didn’t want a rooster. I swore black and blue that I’d harden up and kill any roosters for the table. Who was I kidding? How could I kill Russell?

 

Gone December 15, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 9:32 am
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There will be no more chicken jokes.

For there are no more chickens.

I have a horribly sick feeling in my stomach, having to write this.

Our feathered ladies are gone.

Killed and scattered by some roaming beast.

I have spent the day torturing myself with thoughts of how scared they must have been.

A very kind friend has gathered their remains and put them all in a box to be buried.

I don’t know if I can look in the box.

Yes they were chickens, livestock, birds.

But they were our pets and we doted on them.

We loved Agnes and her feisty, bossy attitude.

We loved Lola’s boastful crowing over each and every egg she popped out.

We loved Betty’s doddering, confused mothering of her chicks.

We loved Mrs Poulawitska’s uncoordinated dashing about and her secretive egg laying.

We cannot wait for Agnes any longer.

Good bye feathered ladies.

 

What do you call a weird chicken? December 13, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 7:16 pm
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EGGCENTRIC

 

Who was the fiercest chicken in history? December 12, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 4:30 am
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ATTILA THE HEN!

 

Why did the chicken cross the road?* December 9, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 11:08 pm
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Buddha:

On the road there is no chicken,

no road, nor perception of the road, nor impulse to cross it, nor consciousness of the road,

no feathers,

no beak,

no clawed feet,

no chicken.

No road,

no chicken,

no crossing…

only the great prajnaparamita of the empty form of chicken and the empty form of the road, and that emptiness;

gone, gone, gone beyond, gone altogether beyond.

 

*I had such good intentions of avoiding chicken-road-crossing jokes. Obviously the road the chicken crossed is paved with good intentions.

 

How long do chickens work? December 8, 2010

Filed under: Days of our chickens' lives — titchandboofer @ 2:27 am
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AROUND THE CLUCK!