The peep

Another day in the vineyard. The morning side of Sauvignon Blanc is clear and exposed and I am on first name terms with with every single horsefly in vicinity. You don’t want to know what names I gave them! While Fred the dog is too tired from wooing the ladies to move when the leaves land on him, I have a lot of time for thinking. Oh no, I hear you say. Oh yes indeed.image.jpeg
Yesterday’s episode with my acrobatic hen up the electric fence made me recall a book by Betty MacDonald – the brilliant The Egg And I. She wrote about her plight as a chicken farmer’s wife who hated chickens with all her heart. Admittedly she had to look after several thousand of the creatures not just four, so perhaps that’s why I love my feather dusters.
In her book she writes something like (and this is just from memory as I am again writing in the vineyard without the book at hand): the chickens have an overwhelming desire to die; they will do their best to commit a suicide despite your best efforts to keep them alive.
And White demonstrated just that. She has a history of stupid decisions (don’t we all) like throwing herself in front of running cat instead of walking into her safe, fenced off dwelling, or flying up on the coop roof and jumping the fence at the exact time when the fox likes to check out the garden.
If she saw the safari plateau worthy of National Geographic magazine this morning, she would have clucked in horror.
Coming back from feeding the guinea pigs (happy to report still alive and quite chatty) I came across the neighbours’ cats proudly displaying their catch. I know that bunnies are cute and everything but they really do a lot of damage on the farm. So instead of saving the poor little rabbit and drawing my own version of events, I actually went back to get my camera. The cats dutifully posed before they carried their breakfast into the hedge. image.jpeg
The good thing was that while the hunters were otherwise occupied, the little brood/clutch/peep of chickens (thank you Oxford Dictionary) could enjoy a short morning outing in the flower beds.
And by the way, did you know that the chickens love to help with gardening? So far they’ve thinned the salad leaves and cropped the lettuce. Who wouldn’t want to have a few thousand of them?

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