New arrivals in the Village!!!

“Golly,” I tell Short Tony. “This is exciting.”

“There are two of them,” he explains. “Arrived yesterday. They seem OK. They’re black.”

“Fair enough.”

“Unfortunately one other fell out of the chicken coop, and a fourth didn’t make it through the night.”

“Do you think the chicken will notice that they are black and she is speckledy?”

“At least they are definitely chickens.”

This is a positive. Having had an annoyingly broody hen for several weeks, we had come up with a bright idea and had sourced some fertile eggs to put under her. Despite these eggs not being anything like this chicken’s own eggs, and the chicks clearly being of an utterly different breed and origin, the process seems to have been a great success. Truly, I am just like Prof. Robert Winston, but for chickens.

“I have set up a chicken intensive care unit in my living room,” says Short Tony, leading me to his Cottage.

The chicken intensive care unit turns out to be Short Tony’s dogg’s cage, with the Cottage’s central heating turned on and an electric radiator placed alongside. It is the hottest day of the year, and it is a little warm indoors. Short Tony’s family lie slumped in armchairs; his dogg lopes forlornly on the floor. “There!” says Short Tony, wiping his brow.

I gaze at the chicks. They appear happy enough, in my expert Prof. Robert Winston for Chickens opinion. The same cannot be said for Short Tony’s family, who are now vomiting and hallucinating from heat exhaustion.

“You can’t carry on like this,” I tell them, an idea for a more sustainable solution forming in my mind. “I’ll sort something out.”

An hour or so later, I reappear at Short Tony’s.

“I’ve bought you some ice cream,” I announce.

The chicks and their surrogate mother peck away happily. We watch them for a short while, but conditions in the room are uncomfortable and I take my leave, promising to return tomorrow. It is a wonderful thing to have new arrivals. I can see this inspiring me for the summer.

I introduce a feature to the chicken enclosure.

“It shouldn’t take me long, honest,” I tell the LTLP.

For a while, Short Tony and I have been talking about constructing a special door to allow the chickens out to play in the woods. Now that the weather is more DIY friendly, we have decided to grasp this particular nettle by the horns, and even now Short Tony is standing beside the back fence brandishing an electric drill.

The LTLP gives me her ‘there are about 10000 DIY jobs that need doing and that have needed doing for ages and that I have been going on and on at you to do but that you haven’t done because you say that you have been too busy whereas now you seem to have all the time in the world to create some ridiculous and unnecessary piece of engineering for the chickens who you love more than I do it seems well I am not going to say anything but frankly I am not impressed’ look.

I shrug weakly. I am a bit intimidated that she is able to condense all those particular facts and feelings into one single look, although it cannot be denied that it is handy for the narrative.

“It won’t take us long,” I insist. “And you will understand when it is finished. All we need to do is to somehow rig up some clever door or hatch arrangement which will let them through to the woods. Then they can go and peck about to their little hearts’ content, before slipping back through when it’s their bedtime.”

I give her a reassuring pat on the arm.

“Plus with our DIY skills we will be creating a classy and interesting feature for the garden, creating a practical yet aesthetically pleasing focal point that will sit in harmony with its surroundings and add value to the setting,” I add.

My garden is full of chickens!!!

I stare over the LTLP’s shoulder. They are clearly visible through the scullery window.

There is a dead, ominous silence, which I don’t understand, as she is shouting and screaming at them and banging the window.

“Get OFF the garden!!! PISS OFF!!! GET OFF MY PLANTS you little shitbags!!!”

Such language that chickens should never be forced to hear.

She turns to me. “I thought you said you did their wings or something?!?”

I shrug, confused.

No more is said. The LTLP does not care that I have hyperintelligent chickens with super powers. I will have to deal with them. I had been planning to make my big secret announcement, but now I will not have time to write a proper diary post about it. It is a shame, as I know people are bursting to know my news, and I have been religiously careful to not drop any hints as to its nature, spoil the surprise, let the chicken out of the bag, etc.

The LTLP storms off into the kitchen, brushing past me awkwardly in her new shapeless top and trousers with an odd bit that covers her tummy, whilst muttering something about needing a rest and something to eat but not unpasteurised soft cheese or paté.

I will have to make my big secret announcement on Monday.