Poultry drama

Posted by September Blue Saturday, 26 January 2008

The hens I'm looking after get let out of their little hen-house when it starts getting light, and put themselves to bed again when it starts getting dark. For the rest of the day, they wander around the garden doing hen things. Just before lunchtime, they'll usually make an appearance at the patio doors and demand food. So, at about twelve-ish today, I look outside for the hens. I see no hens. I think, "Hmm."

Go outside. Call hens. No hens. Search garden (which is quite big, and has a lot of places for a hen to hide should a hen so wish). Call hens. No hens.

The hens are not shy. You call them, they come running up in the hopes that you have food for them. To see neither feather nor beak is... unusual. So I check their hen-house to see if they've gone back in there, which they haven't. I check the garden yet again to see if they've got stuck somewhere, which they haven't. And as I'm searching, trying not to think of foxes, I notice a section of the fence that's blown down in the wind.

We're in the middle of the country, here. There's woods and fields on all sides, and in the distance I can hear people shooting pheasants ("Miss, you bastards! Miss!"). There are dogs. There will be foxes. I search in widening circles around the house and the surrounding land, but there is no sign of the hens.

Go back to garden in hopes that hens have returned. Search garden. Call hens. No hens. Go outside garden, try to think like a hen, give up, settle for searching everywhere, calling for hens as I go. No hens. No hens at all. How far could they have got in three hours? How far could they have got in three hours in a fox's mouth? The people I'm housesitting for love these hens to pieces. I'm dead.

Trudge back to house ("Good Saint Anthony, look around..."). Wonder if hens are bright enough to return to hen-house when it starts getting dark. Wonder where the hell else a hen could possibly hide, anyway. Wonder how this one's going to sound when the house's owners come back. Notice backside of hen disappearing through missing fence section, back into garden. Notice other hen ahead of it. Fix fence, return to house, slump in armchair, allow self to breathe.

Notice hens by patio door, demanding food.

1 Responses to Poultry drama

  1. Laz Says:
  2. Hens may seem quite stupid, but they are at least as bright as a dumb dog and they always know where the food comes from...