Today was my turn and entering the henhouse door, 50 sets of eagle eyes challenged the intruder and 50 sets of unadulterated hostility dared me to venture further within. With bucket in hand and heart in mouth I faced off the first antagonist….the black and white Barred Rock hen, feathers all askew from an earlier conflict resolutely blocked my path. Loudly squawking, wattle flapping and every feather fluffed Charlie the chicken advised me that I was clearly out of my safe zone and well into terrorist territory. Adolf ( I know, not very PC but strangely appropriate) the Rhode Island Red rooster chose that moment to make an unscheduled entry into the henhouse and, faced with a resolute and extremely unhappy Charlie the chicken, attempted to blend into the woodwork and tactfully reverse his direction backwards down the ramp. Choosing ( with great difficulty!!) not to be intimidated by a two foot six feathered egg machine I set down my bucket and shovel just in time for the cackling volume level to be raised to maximum decibel. Beady eyes, nestled deep in wood shavings peered out from nest boxes and antagonistic chickens paced the roosting perches. One Eye, the neurotic ginger hen nervously walked back and forth, more concerned by her feathered family than by the intruder with the bucket and poor Adolf the Rhode Island Red rooster appeared to find himself more concerned by the ministering of his female flock than the English woman with a bucket and an attitude.
I’ve just emptied a luxurious glass of creamy mudslide, rich and deeply, sinfully, alcoholic…courtesy of our East Coast family. The chicken house, Harriet the hen and the cackling off the Richter Scale seem to have all blended into a warm and fuzzy haze. Cleaning the hen house…..concerned…intimidated…not me !!!
Take care, keep safe, M