We stand in the Village Pub.

Big A drinks his cooking lager, thoughtfully.

“The thing is,” I explain, “I don’t think the chickens understand how much physical danger they are in. Predators and stuff are all very well, but the LTLP will start wringing necks if they keep eating her plants.”

I finger my own neck, nervously.

“Are they still getting over the gate?” he asks.

I nod, sadly. The chickens have always taken their ‘free range’ status a bit literally, wanting to range around all freely and stuff, rather than just sitting in a small confined space, providing me with eggs. But I have always wanted to hold off on the wing-clippy thing, as it seems so obviously unsporting.

The LTLP approaches. “I need to go home,” she says. “I’m desperately tired.”

I take a look through the windows unto the blackness without. “You’re not seriously walking down the hill on your own in the dark in this weather?!?” I say. “In your condition?!?” I excuse myself to fetch my coat.

“Here – you should take my torch,” I offer, pulling a small wind-up torch from the pocket. “Will you make sure to pay the babysitter?”

I order another pint. “Anyway,” I tell Big A, “we’re going to have to do the wing clipping thing. All you have to do is to sort of catch them, and to then sort of clip their wings. With scissors. Len the Fish has apparently demonstrated to Short Tony. It can’t possibly go wrong.”

There is a long silence.

23 Comments

  1. Condition?! The LTLP has a condition?!

  2. Could you not use Rohypnol on the chickens like you did on the sheep?

  3. “Here – you should take my torch,”

    I see gallantry isn’t dead then, over in Norfolk.
    Your pub is on a hill? You sure you live in Norfolk?

  4. I always thought Jonny was her condition, Deirdre.

    So are you hinting that #2 is on the way, Jonny? Seems odd timing, given your recent bulk delivery of condoms. Then again, while Servalan clearly needs a little brother or sister to play with, it doesn’t necessarily follow that you need be involved. We’re taking it on trust that you had anything to do with Servalan, after all…

  5. Okay, seeing as nobody is going to ask the obvious question.

    Where exactly does one get a wind-up torch?!?

  6. Faraday torches, not wind up, are available at Amazon!!
    So when is No2 due then, Jonny?

  7. Condition? Did you win at the snooker and get carried away?

  8. My dad got a bulk load of wind up torches when they were the special highlighted offer at Lidl and then gave them all to relatives.

    My breath is bated for the chicken clipping fiasco.

  9. Honestly – wind up torches are all over the place!!! They don’t have batteries, and all you do is wind a handle to create the electricity.

    They’re not very light, but they’re very convenient.

    Everybody, thank you for your concern, but I had my number 2 this morning at around 10am, as I do every day. #iamjuvenile #ohnohangonnotontwitternow

  10. Wind up torches are brilliant. I got mine cheap at the Co-op petrol station.

    I knew there would soon be a reason to congratulate you, Jonny.

    Actually, I was only mentioning to the Sage today how much of the lawn is bare earth since the chickens have been straying onto it. Unlike the LTLP, however, I am sympathetic. They need their greens and they give us lovely eggs with deep orange yolks, and they are more important than plants are.

    Years ago, my husband saw me struggling to dig the garden. “That spade is far too heavy for you,” he said. And went straight out and bought me a new smaller spade. Which some bastard stole from the garden a few years later when I went in for a drink of water.

    Number 2 every day, just once? You’re better then, at last? No more hurry-waddling.

  11. After #2 are you planning on having your wings clipped?

  12. Z – it didn’t lead to garden implement rage like this, did it?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/norfolk/8560336.stm

    (I have been showing that link to everybody.)

    Greg wins the prize for ‘best comment’!

  13. I’m just amazed you’ve never had a “We Stand In The Village Pub” post before!

  14. Yes – – me too. I thought I was running out of verbs for that particular title…

    But I don’t get out much these days.

  15. You have a “best comment” prize?! Damn your eyes, why wasn’t I aware of this?

    Oh.

  16. Yeah, and he awarded it too early in my opinion!

  17. A chicken story, a chicken story.

    I’m so excited, I will comment before I’m even half way through the story. Here: Pen the plants and let the chicken roam outside!

    I’m off to read, I see comments about the LTLP’s condition and I’m curious.

  18. I have found the ideal present for JonnyB on the occasion of the forthcoming event.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsEZTDud4HQ&NR=1

    It’s his favourite colour for that sort of thing and it’s got his favourite organ in it.

    (Ukes are basically the same thing aren’t they?)

  19. Remember, when introducing #2 to Servalan, to keep them in adjacent pens and scatter the food along the fence between the pens so that they are eating close together but not able to get at each other, let them free-range for some time together every day but supervise and be ready to intervene with the water-pistol – oh, wait, that’s introducing chickens not babies. My bad.

  20. Will there be room in your Nonky-Noo?

  21. Funnily enough, I just recounted the much less dramatic tale (compared to the arrival of #1) of our #2 arriving.

    There must be something in the air.

    Oh, and congratulations to you all. When’s the bundle of sleepless nights due?

  22. Spam.

    He called us ‘spam.’ [See above post].

    I wonder why everyone’s talking about # 2, bundles of joy and sleepless nights and babies and so on…?

    Hm.

    A new li’l chicken in the coop?

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