So, we’re chicken sitting again this weekend as the landlord is off to Embra. Since the hens have been moved from the walled garden they have to be shut in at night (although they generally put themselves to bed) to keep them safe from foxes. So my duties involve shutting them up at night and letting them out in the morning, scattering some grain and trying to push the broody ones off their spot in the corner long enough to extract some eggs.
Last night we had a rare night out – I rode the Brompton into Bigtown, met the other half on his way back from work, and we had a nice meal and went to Bigtown’s lovely tiny cinema to see the World’s End, which is frankly deeply silly but also pretty funny. We strolled out of the cinema along the river front to Bigtown’s ancient bridge and admired the way it was reflected in the still water above the weir,* watched the boy racers tearing up and down the road across the river, briefly debated having a pint in the World’s End but decided against it, and drove home feeling like we’d had a proper Friday night, the first one we’d had in years.
It was only this morning – just before seven am – that I sat bolt upright in bed having remembered the hens. Having broken all land-speed records getting dressed, I hurried over certain I was going to find nothing but scattered feathers and possibly hen parts. Though we’ve never seen one (if you want to see foxes, move to London) we know there are foxes around because you can smell them. What chance that they would have left six nice plump defenceless hens unguarded like that? I’ve never been quite so relieved as when I found all six of them present and correct, and wondering where their breakfast was… phew.
*Bigtown looks rather splendid in the dark