Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Tales of Chickens and Feral Spiders

Actually, this should be feral chickens. One arrived in the garden a few days ago. I arrived home one evening, paused at the mail box, and was startled by a scrabbling above my head accompanied by a smattering of twigs falling into my hair. A chicken was roosting in the cypress tree next to the box.

Since when had our postman turned into a chicken, I wondered? I examined it closely. Smart brown and white dappled feathers, with a tawny brown collar, a red beak… all the usual Chicken appendages. It glared at me, annoyed that I had broken its peace with my presence. Shrugging, I left it to it. It was cold in the tree, and I had a warm house to go into.

It was still there the next morning. Beneath the tree. Scratching around on the gravel, turning over dross in search of insect and grub gold.

It was still there at lunch time. Same actions. Same menu.

And dinner.

As dusk fell, it hopped back into the tree again. I contemplated asking it for a contribution towards its board and lodging.

Days later, it still occupies my garden. It evidently has chicken intelligence: the hunting ground has moved to the patch of grass below the bird feeder. This is normally Robin’s haunt: he flashes his red feathers at all who intrude, but in this instance he is nowhere to be seen. The FC must be more than a hundred times his size, so sense reigns in his birdbrain. There is probably more nous in there than in the Chicken, which must be galling for him. A clear case of brawn triumphing over brain.

Where has this Chicken come from? Where should it go? There is no knowing, but at this rate, the lawn will be scratched to pieces in another couple of weeks and the Grass Police will be on my case.

Or the Chicken’s.

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